Wedding Ring

My wedding ring disappeared completely. I must have taken it off and set it down but I’ve looked on every surface. It’s not in the bathroom. Sometimes I put it on the ceramic fox’s ear. It’s not there though. Not out here. I mean I have looked everywhere. It’s like someone took it but how could anyone get in here? We’re on the 44th floor. I mean it’s just a guy’s wedding ring- who would want it? It’s not worth that much except it has some writing on it- the latitude and longitude where we got married- in the middle of the Pacific on a lifeboat.

We ended up stranded at sea with a priest and my future wife took that as a sign from above we were to be married. I just wanted to keep peace on our little lifeboat and at the time had no idea we’d ever be saved (I had a feeling we wouldn’t be) so I went along with it. It made them both happy and I must admit it took my mind off our desperate plight for as long as the ritual lasted.

A week later we were back in the city and it was too late to turn back, our lives having been irreparably bonded. I was on autopilot then, giving her a ring by candlelight with Barry White playing on the turntable. She showed up a few days later with a ring for me, her idea of a joke being to give it to me suspended in Jell-O.

Jell-O brought back memories of working the slaughterhouse as a boy and scraping up the hoof-shards and cartilage with a shovel to be converted to gelatin. The smell never left me and its memory returned at full-force while I extricated the ring from the odorless Jell-O. I didn’t want to bring up the slaughterhouse at the time but even months later the ring would trigger the sense-memory of that smell and I would gag inwardly.

I can’t believe I lost it.

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