"What are you thinking about?" she asked.
Usually, I didn't have a good answer planned out in response to this question, and so I ended up responding with something like "Chocolate milk" or "The phrase 'tasty piece of bitch,' which was in an episode of Clone High and which I find inexplicably amusing." Fortunately she was usually amused by such responses. In any case, though, this time I was ready.
"I'm thinking about your watch," I said.
Her watch was silver and classy looking, with a face that I thought was a pale orange the first time I saw it.
Now, though, I could look at it and see that if I moved my head around and looked at it from different angles, it turned different colors. From here, it was green. Here, it looked red. Now it was orange again. But now it was blue.
I thought about the time when I was talking to her and she mentioned all the things she had at some point wanted to be: a hippie, a goth, a beach bum, a poet. Green. Red. Orange. Blue. If this were a book, I thought, would I have been able to read the description of her watch and know this about her, that she was an amalgamation of all these things and as a result she was both none and all of them?
I thought about the clothes she wore, how they were sometimes classy, sometimes vibrant, usually both. She had a silver, sparkling belt that she wore around her waist and I thought about how like the silver watch around her wrist it was. I thought: If this were a book, would I have been able to find encapsulated in the clothes she wore a description of her personality, right down to her vibrance and her charm?
But no, I don't think that way when I read books; I'm torn by indecisiveness. Does the albino deer represent innocence? Is it an aberration? Could it be a symbol for the elusive nature of happiness? Who the hell knows?
Here, though, I look at her watch and I think to myself, does it matter that I don't always understand art and literature, on canvas and paper? She is art. We are all literature.
She is looking at me expectantly.
"Yeah," I say. "Your watch. I really like it."