Monday, July 2, 2012

Rings

Ten years ago I wore three or four rings at any point of time, then traded them for one, then two seven years ago. Since last year I only wore bracelets. Leather, bronze junkets, Buddhist symbol and Tibetan writing bracelets, silver, silver in rubber band clasps, but mostly leather, home-grown, made by strong Mongolian hands. A friend of mine grabbed my biceps and told me it was time for me to grind some raw hide into perfect softness, which was how men were trained in their strength in the olden days. Apparently he ground many in his teens, and man, was he a skinny dude, tendons sticking out, but strong. Rings. Stone rings, silver rings, metal and steel, titanium, and once, a very short-lived gold ring. Mostly silver, because I always thought, and still think, of gold as gaudy. Fish, tortoises, elephants, ruby-eyed snakes, runic symbols, Gothic patterns, Mongolian hammer weaving, plain old nothing-to-adorn-them bands. Bought, found, received, proposed, proposing, wed, even. Then I swore off them. Lost my engagement ring in many moves last year, but managed to keep my wedding band. As a souvenir, and a reminder. I look at rings judiciously. Or better still, rings evoke mixed feelings in me. They express much about their owners. Can you imagine a goth girl wearing heavy eye goo, and at the same time, a cutesy pink hello-kitty junket on her, say, index finger? You get my point. And owners express a lot through their rings of choice. One of my exes used to wear a heavy gold swastika ring. Erked me big time. Tried talking her out of that ring many times, resorting to even buying an equally heavy gold one for her birthday, just to make her give up that monstrosity of a statement. She started wearing them both, right next to each other, one on the middle finger, and another on the ring finger. Another one of my exes never wore rings, but she loved the way the unevenness of my many steel rings sometimes gently caught on her skin, the cool of it, the heaviness, and sometimes, after a morning or lunch-time quickie, the lingering musky perfume of femaleness that I would make her smell when I got home "This is how you tormented me the whole day". After a year of us being together, I finally bought her a ring, a bit similar to one of my junket rings she secretly wore when she was going on her performances. She loved it, but she lost it after we broke up. Because she had to handle the studio equipment day in and day out, and compose and mix on the synth, she would take that ring off her index finger and put it on top of the synth. She must've lost it that way. 

I was given a ring a few days ago. The twin of it is on the finger of a lovely girl who I dated sometime ago. Why would she give me a ring long after we stopped dating, I keep asking myself. Why give me a ring, a twin of which is on her finger? I look at it, the shape exactly matching my wedding band, the souvenir and the necessary reminder of my now sworn bachelordom, and wonder if this time the silver will outlast the titanium which still carries the meaningless engraving. Then I remind myself that it was just a present. No promises. No oaths. No "I love yous till death do us apart". Just a ring, whose shape simply makes me think back on things best left in the past...

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