The Ring

I left out the worst thing about my bad day two weeks ago - I lost my wedding ring. Somewhere in between closing up the bar and listening to the Archers with Eric late that night, the ring came off and disappeared. It's not one of those kind of wedding rings you wear all the time. It's big and clunky and partly made of porcelain.

You could say we'd chosen comedy rings when we got married in the French countryside. They were porcelain because we lived near Limoges and that's the thing they make there. The first time I wore it out, to a crowded concert, the porcelain part fell off. I managed to reach down onto the floor and pick it up before someone crushed it with their boot. So much for French craftsmanship - I found a German jeweler in Limoges who glued it all back together. Eric's fit wrong and had to be re-sized.

The rings were too big to play guitar in. Eric kept his in a pocket of his Dennis Hopper jacket on tour, and when the van got broken into near Melkweg in Amsterdam, Dennis Hopper jacket and Eric's ring were stolen. They'd already stopped making the rings (hmm, wonder why) so we replaced Eric's with a simpler silver one.

Several years later my ring was really coming into its own with chips in the lunar surface of the porcelain. I'd put it on to go to work at the bookstore/bar - not, as a friend suggested, to warn customers "back off, I'm taken" but because it looked so good pulling the tap handles.

I looked everywhere. Down drains, in drawers. Behind and under the couch, in the car. For two weeks I've been in mourning. Wondering if I could call Marie Ange at the porcelain shop in Limoges - does she still work there? Could I still string a sentence together to talk to her about rings and things in general? It feels like our past life keeps slipping further away - Eric's out on the road by himself now, driving all the way to Memphis - things change and progress and it's all for the good but...I'm really sad that my ring is gone.

Yesterday I'm back at work - it's Wednesday again, when the cardboard has to go out for recycling. Between books, wine and art supplies, the store generates dozens and dozens of boxes every week. I hate breaking up cardboard in the dank, dingy garage behind the store. But I can't stand to let Eve my nice co-worker do it yet again. I'm really getting into it now - clawing, slashing and flattening boxes - I will get to the bottom of this blasted pile - what's this? Hiding in the very bottom box, under a layer of plastic?

Man that garage has a wonderful reverb! "I FOUND MY F*$#ING WEDDING RING!"