It felt strange at first. My fingers are used to being free. Even nail polish is a burden. And this, could this really be mine? This shiny thing, this sparkle ring? Me in my thrift-store clothes, my five-year-old shoes, jeans with the hem rolled up: everyone will wonder at the incongruity. It was too big for my ring finger. It wasn't that it didn't fit me but that I didn't fit it. It was beautiful, gorgeous, fantastic, and I was an unpolished little girl. It caught in my hair, on hand towels, on stockings. I couldn't decide if I should take it off to wash my hands and to cook and to do anything, really, with my hands. What if I damaged it? But I didn't want to keep slipping it on and off, as though a promise and a dream could slide on and off again.
(The sun fell on it, and sent pricks of light dancing on the page, and even on the walls and ceiling. I could see the rainbow condensed into a point within the diamond.)
My hand didn't know what to make of it. As my feet carried me about, every so often my finger would comment again to me: I'm encircled by a ring! Sometimes it was just a comment, sometimes it was a complaint. Let me out!
Eventually, we took it to be resized. We handed it over to a lady behind a glass counter, and walked out of the store full of flashing stones.
My left hand had returned to its old, familiar state of ringlessness. My hand was exactly as before, but now it felt naked. What had happened?
School started, I carried books, I cooked for myself, I walked back and forth on the salted paths between snow mesas. Every so often, in the midst of the movement, my finger would comment to me again: I'm not wearing a ring. Something is missing. I feel unclothed.
And now, the ring is back. It is snug on my fourth finger. Now it just feels right, like it belongs there--which it does, the way I belong in the circle of O.'s arms.