it somehow cheapens the whole idea of a weblog to write something and then go back and edit it. It's fucktarded. I will never do it again. My only excuse this time is that I want to remember yesterday's moment for a while, and since I'm writing this tomorrow, I wanted to make sure the dates were a little closer.
Anyway. So, the thing is, I lost my wedding ring on the skytrain last night.
It comes as a surprise to most people to know that I was ever married. Shit, It surprises me a little, now. I can look back and imagine my wedding day as though it were yesterday (and not the decade ago it, in fact, was) but the guy at the centre of it all, strip mining his new Bride's tonsils, for some reason that guy can't possibly be me.
I mean, I recognize him. I recognize the bleached and ripped jeans, held together with safety pins along one seam and decorated with demented 4am scribblings, the jeans he had planned to graduate in. I recognize the T-shirt, one of only five ever printed, hand drawn by a friend; a skull, screaming, the tendons ripped away from the bone and revealing a Pandora's box of seedy images, the logo beneath: "do you mind?". Man that was a great shirt. I recognize the ritually torn oxford white worn over it, flapping in the spray from the rushing creek behind him, I see his blood red brogues and I think "yep, those were good shoes". He has the same friends I know from that time. Physically, he even looks like me. Same oversized feet, same build, same jug like ears that stick out too far, same features, mostly. The smile's a little colder, but that wouldn't really do it, that's not what makes him an alien.
What I really don't recognize anymore are the eyes. I don't recognize that look anymore, I can't see what he sees; more importantly, I now see things he couldn't see, would not see, had no time for. This is both a thing to regret and also a blessing I think, maybe. On that day, that kid in that white T-shirt was moving mountains almost blithely. I'm distracted from my own story just looking at him, because it's fucking scary what I see in that face.
He - this stranger in my face - he'd only proposed three weeks ago. He'd found his best man that morning, picked him up at his false creek home, taken him to get the rings. They came from a shop on Robson street, two simple bands of Jade, carved and polished in front of him from the very same piece of rock. He knew his beloved's ring size from earlier tests, but it was important to do this at the last minute, as close to the event as possible, and he was meticulous about leaving things in a panic state. He liked uncertainty. When the person who was supposed to marry them did not show (it turned out she had had a heart attack) and his wife to be began to fall apart, he didn't blink; he just turned to the phone and got the next one on the list to come out to Lynn Headwaters on a Sunday. Somehow.
It feels surreal, dreamlike now. S. and I were married for nearly two years, and the end of that union is another story but one I'll tell somewhere down the line. When she left I gave her back her own ring, broken, to keep. Mine I wrapped in gauze, which went in a box, with the only other ring I'd ever offerred a woman; that's two down, by the way, and the next time I offer a ring to anyone again will be my very last, whether it's accepted or no.
There are tokens of similar value I kept along with the rings, romantic and otherwise; a music box carried by one late grandfather, a collection of coins from the war carried by another, seeds from a garden where I walked with a friend that wait to be planted, one or two things I am sworn never to share. Right this moment they are scattered over my living room floor awaiting disposal. You see, If I'm really serious about this plan of mine, if I want to ever paint in that other eye of the Daruma doll in 400 days, then I have to let go of all my baggage; it's too heavy for the journey. And I am, very serious. So I've been working out how to dispose of it all before May starts.
I wore the ring around my neck while I went out to teach C, my student in New Westminster. I'm really not sure why. Maybe because there's a jade tear that I'm thinking of wearing there and I wanted to try it out, maybe it was just sentimentality - we're approaching our anniversary - maybe it was just a message on some cosmic radio I was picking up. The necklace it was on broke as I was getting off the train at Braid Skytrain station. I heard something drop and break, I didn't know what it was but the sound was surprisingly loud and clear; it was curiously metallic, ringing. I can still hear it. I'd finished my day and come home again when I noticed that it was gone, and only then did I put two and two together.
I've carried that ring from house to house, while homeless, out of the rubble of a fire once, through thick and thin as they say for over a decade. Ten years that damn thing's been with me. Ten years. Gone.
Isn't that fucking priceless? think of the irony, the strange beauty of it. It's counterpart is long, long gone, a distant memory. S. and I haven't even spoken in over five years. Her ring? surely gone. I was thinking I'd bury mine on a mountaintop, or hurl it into the foaming waters of lynn creak where the dirty deed was done long ago; or into the ocean; something appropriately larger than life out of respect for a time and a place where life could never measure up to the desire in our hearts. But how much more appropriate that it remain broken, lost, shards of it caught in the flotsam of over a million lives a day, shuttling backwards and forwards, struggling from here to get there. How much more fitting that it should choose it's own time and place to have nothing more to do with me. It makes me happy to think of those shards out there, somewhere, returned to that great pool of human experience, part of the ordinary muck of everyday life.
I am smiling as I write, and I feel strangely free. The symbol is gone and the actuality is soon to follow, a formality that must be cleaned up as I set the groundwork for immigrating.
I lost my wedding ring on the skytrain last night. I found a tiny piece of my present. It's a good exchange.