Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Broken ring

Broken Ring

I broke my left ring finger three weeks ago. I was rushing down a set of stairs in a parking garage, the stairs were wet, and as I started to fall, I had one of those moments where time felt like it slowed down. I thought this is going to be bad, and I had just enough time to throw out both my arms and catch the banister. By catching myself, I managed only to hit my upper left arm and my right upper thigh. But my left hand hit the metal banister all wrong. The ring finger was in the wrong place, twisted a bit and hit so hard it was all I could do not to scream. I knew it was broken right away, and took off my sapphire class ring immediately, before my hand could swell. I didn't want anyone to have to cut my ring off.

I didn't go to the doctor. I could still move the finger. I figured it couldn't be that bad, and really, it wasn't; the bruises on my hand didn't rise for two days, and when they did, my blackened knuckle didn't alarm me. The worst was that I bruised my hand all the way through; there was a mark on my palm that you could see through on the other side. So for the past two weeks I have typed a little less than usual, but now it's nearly healed. The finger aches in the cold weather though, and rings that formerly fit on it won't go anymore.

And so this is a big change. I have worn my ring from my BA degree on my left ring finger every day for three years. I can't do that anymore, which makes me giggle in that place where I love symbolism. I wore my ring on my left ring finger because I had married my education, you see. Now that I'm making money again I suppose I could have the ring resized, but I don't know. Maybe that's not who I am anymore.

Another big change: I own a car for the first time in nine years. Sunday I bought a 1987 Toyota hatchback for cash. I thought about financing, but I'm still leery of that process. This is the kind of car I wanted in High School - an unbreakable beater that runs on fumes. Of course, when I was in High School 10 years ago, a 1987 Toyota was considerably more recent than it is today, but I don't mind. I feel guilty enough as it is driving every day in one of the most polluted cities in America - I might as well drive something that was designed to be a little cleaner, something that isn't contributing to any further ills. I also love the fact that it's inexpensive to drive as the gas prices rise.

I really do feel like I'm in a time warp the past few months. The last time I had a car, I was in High School. That was also the last time gas prices were this high, the last time we were invading Iraq, the last time I was thinking about getting my first apartment, the last time I was around family this much. Wow. The more things change...

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