The Watch and the Gold Bracelet

During the period of my third season on the East Coast, we had accommodations at a hotel in the theater district of Manhattan and it was certainly not luxurious but was adequate for our needs.

During our stay at this hotel, we were aware of a couple across the hall from us who had a jewelry business in their apartment. The man and woman often quarreled and we could hear their arguments almost daily as the door to the establishment remained open. The woman always seemed to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse and it was uncomfortable to listen to them. One night my husband heard the woman weeping.

My husband and I also occasionally had words and I surmise that she might have been aware of it.

One evening she knocked on our door and when I answered she said “beautiful girl” to me. It seemed she did not speak very much English, but her actions spoke a great deal. She handed me a genuine gold bracelet, which I tried to refuse, not knowing what to do with it. I felt awkward and at the same time I understood her blight. It occurred to me, she was relating to me as a woman and perhaps what she perceived as a similar situation to hers.

After a discussion, we asked a friend to try to exchange the valuable bracelet which I would never wear, to a man’s watch. About a year before my husband’s Hamilton stopped working. This was accomplished and a very good time piece with 17 jewels was bartered.  I thought of this as an adventure and a poignant story.