by John F Musser, SSC | August 11, 2021

gym bag filled with equipment

Boy, I know who you are, and I know who sent you. I got what you're looking for. Please, take your time.

No, we haven't met. You think you seen me before? You have a good eye; I was sitting across the street when your sister and himself took you from your Momma.

Why was I there? Well, I heard they was coming to get you and thought an extra hand may be useful. No, nobody had to ask.

That was the first time you met him? Yes, he can be scary for sure, and he is sorta big, could be bigger, I suppose.

You getting kinda big yourself. Six months ago, your sister put you on that train? Hard work and the iron have been good to you. Yes, he has too.

When was the last time you ate boy? Couple hours?!?! Here, help yourself to some TruMoo from the fridge – go on, take two.

Your sister doing good? And the puppy? That’s real nice. She sure is proud of you. Your buddies posted a video of you walking up the ladder with two five-gallon buckets of roofing tar in each hand and she shared it all around.

Yeah, he put you on the hardest job first. You did fine and now you are finishing up easy at the dive shop.

Well, get to looking. Apparently, you ain’t leaving here without something to wear when you head back north. Yes, some of these do cost quite a bit.

Excuse me? He sent you in here with clear directions, didn’t he? “I trust your judgement,” he said. “Choose what you want.” He ain’t known you for a minute and he “Trusts your Judgement”??? Boy, you know what that means? You understand the weight of that responsibility on your shoulders?

Yes, there are plenty of used ones, and with a few exceptions, mostly less expensive. Well, as someone way more pretentious than a former thug/currently wealthy jeweler might say, “As you explore your horological tastes, the used market can provide great satisfaction.”

However, what you choose today will be with you forever. All you dream about and all you do and every moment you spend waiting to do. All the good and all the bad. From who you are now, to who you become. Leaning into a turn or wearing a tux, it’s gonna be with you, boy. It’s going to get beat up and show the wear of the life you choose.

You got plenty of scars already, boy, and you're gonna collect a bunch more. You think he wants you to have a watch that tells somebody else’s story? Or one that tells yours?

Yes, those dials are all cluttered up. It’s because of the complications. Anything that does more than tell the hours, minutes and seconds is called a complication.

Well, an automatic watch winds itself from the motion on your wrist. In a dive watch, they figure the crown is the weakness, so if you don’t have to unscrew and wind it, it is more water-resistant. Now that is a moon phase on that one. Do you need that complexity? See? Your choice.

Now, that’s up to you to decide, isn’t it? What complications help more than they hurt. Which ones are needed, which ones aren’t? You get to choose the complications, don’t you boy?

Yes, it is like your training. You do the big lifts and add weight and eat and sleep. Not complicated. Soon, you will have to complicate things just a bit. Just enough, and it adds, too much, and it takes away.

Yeah, it certainly is a funky looking watch, very old school. You don’t see many like it. It has a couple complications, maybe useful or maybe not.

You want this watch but you're afraid you gonna mess up and pick the wrong one? Listen to me, boy. Fear is a complication, and you get to choose the complications in your life. Fear used to be all you knew. But it is part of your past. You are more now. And this is just a wristwatch!

I heard about that bad storm that snuck up on you fellows a couple months back. Three stories up and that new guy froze up and just hung on to that upright, too scared to even speak. Your legs were probably still wobbly from the morning's squats when you ran across that beam to fetch him. The wind, the lightning, the rain, your sore legs, his panicky ass, and miserable unforgiving gravity were all real things. You didn’t allow fear to complicate it even more, did you?

Fear wouldn’t have helped when you got that chubby little idiot unstuck from that little hole in the ocean floor they call a cave. His eyes all big, him thrashing and grabbing at you with his soft hands. All the beautiful blue water just waiting to fill your lungs. Fear wasn’t helping him, and it sure wouldn’t have helped you.

You had singles this morning, didn’t you boy? What was the number? Not bad… isn’t five hundred heavy enough without fear fuckin' with you? You start to get scared about something, you best remember who you are.

Did fear help when he put you under the bar and gravity wanted to crush you into the platform?

Others gave you the opportunity, but you choose the path. You could have stayed where you were. It was your choice to work in the sun and the heat and carry the load. Let those efforts drive the fear out of you and replace it with something else.

You are going to do a lot of things in your life, for all sorts of reasons… responsibility, necessity, maybe just for the hell of it. Some good reasons and some bad – but not fear. Others “trust your judgement,” so maybe you should too. Stand up straight, boy, and look me in the eye. Listen to me, boy: fear is a complication you don’t need.

Finished your milk and narrowing your decisions, I see. Between these two? Well, that one there has a helium release valve. You already knew that? Almost nobody gonna ever need one of those. You say you will one day? I believe you.

Excellent choice, you will wear it with pride. Ahh, look who it is, lumbering through the door slow and steady, all swole up like a tick. Mr. Sonny, I hope you got your usual roll of Benjamins in your pocket. This fine young man has excellent taste.

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