Dark streets, not quite empty, echo my footsteps as I rush towards a bus because the metro has stopped. I’ve been talking to an Italian photographer about his images of other worlds.
On the wide avenue, I climb aboard a harshly lit #N14 and open my book, giddy with the evening and the wine. I look with sudden surprise, jump up and off the bus; I’ve been going the wrong way. Alone on this wide empty avenue I stand and wait. No one is waiting, no one is walking.
I step behind the bus stop, away from the streetlight, and there is a flash from the pavement. A watch with an absolutely round, white face rimmed in gold lies on its side between black leather straps. Thin black hands mark roman numerals under glass that has one deep crack running shortly between two and nine.
As I pick it up, everything goes dark. I blink, look around. The lights of the avenue are out. Windows on the buildings are dark to the rooftops, but above there is light. My eyes adjust to the big dipper. Other constellations come into view; I don’t know their names. Orion must be behind a building.
I look at the watch. I wonder whose it was. It feels like me, inoperative with no arm to clasp, pointless with no time to tell. Yet now I hold it in my hand, hesitant to try it on my arm. I give it an uneasy tap against my wrist. Is there someone somewhere missing this watch? Why have I stopped wearing one?
I stand rubbing the face, checking back along the dark road until the bus finally pulls to a stop. I can’t try on the watch -would it fit? is it mine?- but neither have I left it abandoned on the curb. On the long lonely ride home, I must decide if I need to wear this watch; whether the watch needs to be worn or not.
Collaborative prompts from http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2012/10/trifecta-week-forty-five.html
where the word was "uneasy". The storyline was from National Poetry Day @poetrydayuk Twitter Poem workshop.