I seem to ask this question a lot, but: do you watch Friends? You know how Phoebe wears all those rings on her hands, all hippy-like? I love that. I have creepy hands (psssh!) but I like how wearing different kinds of colored and shaped rings make my hands look. When I wear rings I gesticulate more, and I feel mystical like a gypsy. A psychic. Or a witch.

I lost two rings at the casino on Friday. Both are gold-colored, one lined with fake green emeralds and the other with crossover balls. One minute I had them on, the next minute my hands felt funny and I realized they were gone. Courtney offered to go help me find them, but in my drunkenness I had absolutely no clue in which bathroom they could be. I shrugged it off and my night continued. I remembered the rings were gone a good twenty-four hours later.

I can picture the rings, the smaller, balled one overlapping the gemmed one on a wet bathroom counter. Did someone like how they looked, swiped them into a pocket? Are they in a Lost&Found bin? Did a janitor dump then in the trash? Did some spiteful bitch wash them away with the icky-smelling soap? I’ll never know. All I know is that I left a little part of me behind. And that I really don’t give a shit that I’ll never see them again. Who really cares about a ring or two when there’s a thing that I live with every day.

You may not think this qualifies as a thing, but to me it is, because I feel it so strongly. It resides in the middle of my chest, and when it gets real bad it travels down into my stomach. I imagine that it rotates and throbs and grows and changes color. It is constantly on my mind; constantly present, and at any moment it can spill over. It is the manifestation of the following: sadness, heartache, shame, regret, humiliation, rejection. And you know what? I don’t want it anymore.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everywhere I went, every bathroom or store or park or library, if at every one of these places I could misplace and discard a little bit of the mass of hurt that I carry around with me? A little nugget here, another one there. A little bit of me everywhere I went. I’d just leave them behind, for someone else to clean up or steal or ignore. I would never think of them again. I wouldn’t give a single shit. And slowly but surely, with a lot of tugging away at the object in my chest and a lot of selfishness, I’d get rid of every single bit of it.

I’d lose it all like a green, tacky, second-hand, rusty ring that some drunk girl left on a bathroom counter at the casino.

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