July 7, 1997
I went to New York, New York for the first time in my life a few months ago. It was one of my goals, to go to New York before I die. That trip has ruined my life; I'm obsessed and I have no control over the feelings that come flooding over me.
I'm unable to sleep, I eat but in binges and worst of all, I keep seeing the object of my desire all over the place. I know it is impossible but it's as if I see a phantom, winking at me from across the room or hanging out at a posh cafe or worse, on the arm of someone else.
It's been the most stressful, to say the least, on Leslie. She's been as supportive as one can be in these kind of circumstances. She's even tried to find a substitute. I really couldn't ask for a more understanding or compassionate partner. Even with all her support, I just can't deal with the loss.
I started shock therapy last week and that's helping a lot. I no longer know exactly what the object of my desire looks like, only that it was the most beautiful watch I've ever seen in my life and all other watches are poor, inbred interlopers.
It happened on the last day we spent in the Big Apple. We took a tour bus all around the city and got off in Greenwich Village. We ate lunch, talked to a friendly waiter and walked to Christopher street. I remember the sun was shinning and the air had been washed clean by the rains the day before. Leslie and I sat in the little park with the gay statues and tried to imagine the riots that started the gay community on a better road.
For those of you who care about history and where we've been and all that stuff, I should note that the actual Stonewall Bar is no longer there. There is a small, unventilated men's clothing store that features lots of the latest in how-ugly-can-I-make-myself-for-$500-minimum fashions. There is a Stonewall Bar nextdoor and a small plaque. We went in, had a drink (Leslie had a margarita on the rocks and I had a coke. The coke was a dollar more. I know that says something to me, but I'm not sure what.) and played Pacman. I felt a little closer to my glitzy forefathers, or should I say forequeens?
We tried on men's clothes in the very hauteur (and very sweaty) boutique and then walked along the street in no particular direction. Isn't that when love strikes its hardest, when you are least expecting it? I was looking in all the shops, just doing general browsing, when all of a sudden it hit me like a bolt of electricity. Leslie looked in the window, looked back at me, saw the crazed glint in my eye and just said, "No."
There was no reason for me to want a new watch. I already own a very functional one. I got it at a Boston Radio Shack about two years ago. It has every thing I need. It has both analog (you know, the hands) and digital functions. It has the date, three different places to put the time, and an alarm. Like I said: it has everything I need, except ANY sort of style.
The basic black Radio Shack watch is terribly pragmatic and I hate it. I'm beginning to have fantasies about thrusting my arm into an open fire pit just to damage the watch so I have an excuse to get a new one.
At the time, when Leslie said "No" we were looking at the price of the watch. It was somewhere around $300. Now, for some of you that is no big deal. You spend that much on macadamia nuts for your pool parties. For Leslie and I, it is a big chunk of change. Besides, I've never worn anything on my body worth anywhere near that much. I'm not sure I have organs worth that.
In retrospect, it was cheap. I will probably end up paying $3000 for this damn watch, once you add up the time, stress, doctor bills, not to mention the airfare back to New York. $300 is a small price to pay for a balanced state of mind.
Copyright 1997 by Laura Jiménez.