long nails and a wedding ring

I bent over this morning after I got home from the coffee shop (COVID19 and I’m thankful that take-out coffee is considered a grocery item, a necessity), and my wedding ring along with a billion teeny tiny beads from the necklace that held it fell into the the carpet in my writing room, the room I have commandeered as mine for a few hours this morning anyway. Most of the time since Brian and I were married in 1997, I have worn this heavy circlette of white gold on some sort of chain or necklace. I love bead necklaces, and I have purchased the last couple on different road trips. This one, now strewn through the strands of the carpeting, I bought in Buffalo, WY, three years ago, at the end of a summer climbing trip that included other places in Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. On a rest day from climbing in Ten Sleep Canyon, we went to town. The store where I purchased it was quirky and artsy and sold a bunch of quirky and artsy stuff that local quirky and artsy people made. The necklace was $20 and had turquoise birds randomly strung on it. I guess 3 years is a pretty long life for something that cost $20 that I wore every day. 

I scour the carpet, frustrated that it’s cutting into my writing time, and find, hopefully, all the beads. I place them in a ziploc bag. I save these broken necklaces in case at some point I learn how to remake them. This is the third set of beads that are sitting in a box left unstrung. I often fantasize about taking up other hobbies— stringing necklaces, tiling mosaics, playing piano— but none of them come to fruition because of climbing. I’m not going to stay at home and not climb for any of these other options. Maybe that will change now.

I place the ring on my finger. My hands are soft, losing their calluses, and my fingernails are long because I’m not climbing during this stay at home order– it has already been weeks and weeks. These hands with their long nails and now adorned with my wedding ring don’t even seem like my hands at all. I still act like a climber though and hang on my fingerboard and do tons of pull ups. In a few days, when I can’t stand the feeling of the shiny circle swiveling around my finger and my nails feel like they are monster’s claws, I will go find some other necklace to put it on temporarily— something that I got from nowhere special and will probably never break.