Saturday, April 30, 2016

when time stood still

As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

I have a great unaffordable enticement which draws me back to my miserable childhood in a little girl opening her Mother's dresser drawers, and finding the greatest of adventures.

One was a "Made in Japan" crocodile pencil holder with a little dark Nigger pencil stuck in it's mouth. The Japanese had such arcane industry after the war until infused on a capital binge to become an automotive bubble to burst.

The others were a series of railroad watches which did not work, which somehow my dad had collected.

I simply loved those Waltham and Elgin watches. My favorite was this massive Elgin like the above, over an inch thick and weighed as much as a rail car.

I would spend hours mesmerized by them, taking the backs off, looking at the jewels and forlorn that none would work. There was one whose movement was terribly broken and the time keeping piece would simply rotate. It was great pleasure in blowing on it and making it spin like a fan. Something so delicate and balanced upon gems and it seemed to run without any friction.

My dad said that jewelers or watchmakers used to steal the rubies out of these watches when people brought them in. He had a ring "lost" that he had by a very prosperous jeweler. I wonder how many fortunes were made pirating jewels not out of treasure chests, but out of the workings of poor people's watches.

I loved trains like most children, loved their striped caps, and loved their orange cabooses. Conductors used to delight in having stupid little children waving frantically from cars at them, as if they were some kinds of gods. They are all gone now, like their watches, like airline pilots used to be people of character and not what everyone has become.

Like all things in life, it seems that the first creation is never the baseness of the last manifestation. I could feel those wearied, large men in those watches, filthy from work and laboring under sullen and so alone like the steam whistles in the night.

What attracts one in the hobo is what confines one to the limits of a rail track. The wonder for me was the watches, so mysterious from a time, when watches rarely kept accurate time and trains were always on time.

A watch always  stops at some monumental moment in time, even if it is not your moment in time.

I have no idea if I was ever supposed to be allowed to play with those watches or if I would have been punished for touching them. Odd I could spend hours playing with them and never be caught in my private little world of things so mysterious, so heavy with the frequency of coal so infused in all they were.

It seems so sad now that those watches are all locked away, and no little girls are there to appreciate their worn faces and non working parts.