In 1996 standing on the Westminster Bridge with the city of London and Big Ben all decked out for Christmas, Mr. G asked me to be his wife. He had a small diamond ring that had been my Grandmothers. It was vaguely sentimental, but mostly pragmatic as we were both young and our savings were meager.
In 2007 Mr. G and I went to a favorite jewelry store and he bought me a diamond band to go with the ring. Like the engagement ring it was delicate. I loved it as a symbol of what we’d built in ten years together.
I lost my rings.
This isn’t a phrase that I’ve never uttered. I often take my rings off and leave them in my bedroom for days at a time. I’ll put a book over them and find them only when I clean up. I’ll go a week without wearing a ring, and as my wedding band suntan line begins to fade I’ll feel uncomfortable and put them back on.
This time though I think they’re really gone and I can’t sleep. It’s been a few weeks and I remember them being on the mantle downstairs. I then remember thinking that I should put them somewhere else and I distinctly remember NOT picking them up and moving them.
Now I think of the one stranger that was in my home and I think he stole my rings. But then I don’t actually think he did. I’m still working with the thought that I’ve put them somewhere. When I return to Los Angeles I’ll open all the drains in the house, sift through the vacuum cleaner bag and then call a hypnotist.
I’m not particularly sentimental. Or at least I thought I wasn’t, but those rings were mine to fidget with. They marked the years. I’m wearing the solid platinum band I was married in, but still my hands feel naked, and it has nothing to do with the diamonds.