Saturday, April 4, 2015

Compliments to Tiffany's

Generally speaking, I think
a man wears a watch he in-
herits, but this opinion is
harmlessly, even if extreme-
ly, in the minority, and I
never press it. There's no
amusement in persuasions of
modest adjustments.

I would feel a breach in my
connection with time, to go
out shopping for a device
which, inevitably, would 
presume to style it for me.
I adopt the alias here, in
the same spirit with which
I subdue horological vanity.

I understand, to accept any
inheritance as neutral can
suggest a dangerous lethar-
gy at best, and the Lethe
is no place for timepieces. 
But here an acquiescence is 
ironically liberating. 

This practice shields any
number of temptations to
blunder and waste, attrac-
tive as it may be to many,
to exhibit those very vir-
tues, manifest as they may,
some temporal fulfillments.

My sidelong glances in the
jewelry stores at wrist-
watches have basically been
modes of biding my time, as
a companion may be pursuing
something in another depart-
ment. Today's mild expres-
sion of delight, therefore,
may be taken as the wilfully
deprived judgment that it is.

Against, finally, the disu-
tility of the watch, estab-
lished conclusively below,
there is, of course, its
ceremonial function, which
is not so easy to dismiss.
The courtesies of evening
dress are not empty minded.
Their rigidities, on the
masculine side, only afford
the blithest holiday from
dissonance and peculiarity.
The machine is clothed, 
not shot from cuffs; and
never withdrawn, except to
respond to another's in-
quiry. What a difference,
from a gathering of hounds.
At its height, as we so of-
ten find, chivalry's for 
the waist, not the wrist.

   I would not care for a watch
   I could not read immediately.
   It would need to be well made
   and it would need to be right.
   I think the many dozen monkeys
   lashed to screens in the work-
   room at Tiffany & Co may have
   hit upon a device I could use.

   Except when it were ever true,
   that time is of the essence.


Juan-Manuel Fangio
  and Stirling Moss
Monaco, 1956

Erik Bruhn
  and Rudolf Nureyev
New York, 1963
Diane Arbus

Jean-Pierre Léaud
  as Antoine Doinel
France, 1959
The 400 Blows
François Truffaut

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