Arnie: 53, greying fringes surrounding the balding center of his head, pin stripe deep blue tailored flannel suit, jacket open, covering a ruby red button down dress shirt, opened at the neck and one button down is sitting with his life long friend, at a table outside of their favorite coffee shop. Arnie is happily divorced and estranged from his kids for the last 20 years. His Mercedes convertible is parked within sight, he is holding his black leather gold faced Rolex, his Monday watch, in his right hand, showing it to his friend to make a point.
Earnie, the friend, also 53, born the same day, sporting his Target torn brown suede jacket over his light blue denim jeans is leaning forward to hear the point of rebuttal he knows is being prepared. His turtle neck, tan and woolen is snug, and around his neck is a thin thread neck piece holding at its center a small multi-colored dichroic glass sphere created by his eldest son during his California adventures.
Arnie speaks: “I can’t take them with me when I die? Really? No, you must be wrong, you over grown six year old discover of death. Seriously, only a high school English teacher would be stupid enough to think that’s why I love my things the way I do. ”
Earnie: ” O.K. So you helped me pass algebra, big deal. Maybe that was sort of stupid to say, but I just don’t get it. The first thing you ask me this morning is to take a look at your new watch. Why on earth would you expect me to give a small shit about your new watch. You must have three or four of them at least.”
Arnie: “Ten, I have ten, one for each day, and three for going out in the evenings. And I love them, as I love my Mercedes convertible, and the new Jaguar sedan I’m picking up, this afternoon, and my condominiums, here and in L.A. where you still refuse to bring your family to visit. I love them all. Of course I can’t take them with me when I die. You love your wife and kids. Can you take them with you when you die?”
Earnie: “No, of course not.”
Arnie: ” I know how much you love your children, and how much they love you; but will they always be children and always live with you? And when they leave to make their own families, will you be absolutely and completely and only happy? And when they have their own children and day by day give them more time and attention, and love than they have time or energy to give to you, will you be as happy for yourself as you are for them?
You raise a question without thought, my friend, but although I love my things more even than I allow myself to love you, the last remnant of my childhood, I will give you a new thought, which I know you love almost as much as I love my new watch.
This watch will never call me in the morning before even birds begin to stir, it will not call me to say there has been an accident and I need to come to the hospital. My Mercedes will never call me to tell me she has found another lover, and would I please never speak to her again. Do you finally understand? Of course I cannot take my things with me when I die. I will leave all of them, I will leave all of my things. But they will never leave me.”