I used to sell time. Not clocks, time.
I made the pieces myself, painstakingly, lovingly, in the shop on Rue de Temps. They were works of art in and of themselves. Some people — foot traffic who passed and happened to glance into the window when the light was just right — bought them and just used them as clocks, even at the prices I was charging. But my main business came to me word-of-mouth.
That’s always how it is, when you’re an artisan.
Most people bought small: a watch, for a few more hours with a lover; an extra week, to prepare for a trip overseas; a month for a novelist whose deadline was looming. Once, I built a grandfather clock for an elderly man whose doctors had told him to put his affairs in order.
But now, the Germans are coming. I put it off as long as I could.