After dinner we walked around window shopping. In the center of the street was a tent for KLSX, the local hot-talk station. They were having a promotion for Swatch and a chance to win one by spinning a big carnival wheel. Put down your dollar and spin. After our third try, I won a great looking Swatch, black with a red dial. I turned around to a beaming Billy and handed it to him.
"No-ooooo," the elongated response of course, meant yes. He was always reticent to take something for nothing, even from me. He smiled at his new watch, took it out of the plastic box and frowned when he found it too big for his wrist. He carefully returned it to its perch and we went home. Billy went upstairs and put the boxed Swatch next to the computer where it remained.
"I'm going to use it as a clock," he said.
"You can take it to a jeweler and get the band reduced, honey," I offered. He thought for a moment and we went back downstairs to bed and watched television. The watch sat in its place for a few months.
I had to go to New York on business later that year in September. I was going to have to be there for a few weeks to babysit a client through her opening on Broadway. The phone rang one morning and Billy was crying on the other end.
"Someone broke in my truck!"
"Shit! What did they take?" I wondered if they ripped off his radio.
"They broke the window and took my watch," he was now in full tears.
"What was it doing in the truck?"
"I was taking it to the jewelry store!" in his tears, his pronounced it "jewry."
"Aw honey bunny. I'm sorry," I said knowing how badly he felt.
"I loved that watch and some fucking crackhead stole it," he came to that conclusion because of where his truck was parked at the time of the robbery. Living in Venice, one block can make all the difference.
"I know," I said softly. He went on to rant about how someone could just break into another's car and take what they want. His tears turned to anger and finally, after talking a while, he calmed down.
Later that day, I went to Macy's on 34th Street and headed to the Swatch section. Luckily I found exactly the same style. I got a card and hurriedly wrote "This watch won't go away. Just like my love," and headed to the FedEx office nearby.
The next day Billy called and was crying even more. "I can't believe you!"
"I love my honey bunny," I smiled with pride knowing how happy I made that moment for him.
When I arrived back home in Venice, I found the watch back by the computer. The time of having it properly sized had passed and it would rest there until Billy's funeral.
I brought Billy's wedding ring, a small porcelain angel he painted, a necklace we had just bought at the Rose Parade a few weeks prior and the Swatch to the first night of visitation.
I draped the necklace around his throat but I asked the funeral director to please put the ring and the Swatch on my baby. It wasn't that I was afraid to touch him. I did that as often as possible over the next three days. It was I just wasn't sure how to do it without disturbing something.
The last time I saw the watch was right before they closed the lid on the day of the funeral as we went to the grave site. I gave my Guyster one last kiss and noticed his Swatch was keeping the correct time.