A rusted and busted clock came in the mail, today.
An inexplicable gift from a lifelong friend who lives by the sea.
Black grime and metal shavings, gritty sand from its sojourn no doubt, sprinkled the table as I salvaged the dead Maritime mechanism from its pouch.
Struck at 9:13 it seems. Battered into no longer tick-tocking. Still-faced.
The patina of a shipwreck. The rancor and riot of oxidation. Its presence fissions my fillings, lines my lungs, and kindles inklings.
Dredged seemingly from a cold black deep. Small enough to be white-knuckled by a drowning sailor. A talisman on the fritz. Saved from the brine. Sold into liberty by some flea market peddler to a man who only thought of undying friendship.
Stumped as to why I’m its new beholder; I’m clueless but utterly humbled and honored. Beheld.
Still, once on the phone he told me it was something I had said or written or gestured toward. And when he saw the clock he knew he would buy it and send it to me.
We go way back. So it goes perhaps that in the fog of fraternity and the reeling in of years we end up finishing each other’s life sentences and proxy dreams. We are each other’s historians and reminders: I am because you are. We remind each other of time.
Someday I’ll be-buried or scorched it’s to be decided another day-with this glittering prize, this inexplicable gift, fully aware that while we think we’ll always have time, there isn’t always.
Evermore is now says the clock from a lifelong friend who lives by the sea.
for Robert, for Bruce and the boys of KoKo Platz