Assignment 4: Describe 2 objects: what they are, how you got them, what they mean to you (emotional connection). E.g. “The chair” or “The cup”. Trick is that you truly own one of the two objects. Class will have to guess which of the two.
Just a ring
I never saw my mother wear it, because by the time I was born, her hands were perma-swollen from all the pain medication for her health issues. I glimpsed it once or twice as a child, the rare times she would open her box of treasures, and stare at her collection of jewelry. My mother favored bright colors in life and clothing: this ring was different, a pale blue stone. Icy. Aloof.
By the time I was a young adult, my mother’s coquettish side had resurfaced. The few times she would go out, she’d picked her outfits with care, occasionally even wearing lipstick. She’d ask me to help her with her necklaces and for advice on which earrings to wear. I loved those girly moments with my mother. We’d sit on the bed poring over her jewelry box, she wearing her dainty reading glasses to better see her “shiny things” with. I asked her once about the icy ring – it mesmerized me, with its delicately wrought silver band, and quiet beauty. She curtly explained it was her almost-engagement ring. Her father died from a massive heart attack the night my parents announced their engagement. My grandmother blamed my parents for killing my grandfather. She refused to acknowledge their engagement, and as my father hadn’t thought to buy my mother a ring, nobody believed they were affianced for the first several months following my grandfather’s death. My father eventually scraped some money together and bought this ring, but the damage was done. Their engagement, and this ring, was forever associated with pain and grief. My mother chose a gold wedding band – a new ring for a new chapter.
When she died, I asked my father for her jewelry box. I’ve kept everything intact, including the pair of reading glasses stored in the second drawer from the top, except for the icy blue ring, that I wear as a talisman. This ring was and remains a ring of grief. But it is also a ring of love, the love my parents shared, and the love I’ll always have for my mother.
My first pair of point shoes
Tucked away on the top shelf in my closet next to my childhood teddy-bears is a shoe box. As the years go by, I take it down and open it less frequently, but I know it is there. A reminder of a by-gone dream that still hurts me.
My first pair of pointe shoes. Almost in pristine condition – I only managed to squeeze in a handful of classes before I blew out my knee in a career-ending injury. Despite their minimal usage, there are some faded brown stains inside, the mandatory traces of blood that every ballerina must suffer for her passion. The ribbons are frayed slightly, from all the times I tied these shoes during the years of surgeries, rehabilitation and endless physio. I’d slip on these point shoes hoping they would magically heal my swollen, scared and bruised knee with their magical properties of beauty, art and soul. They didn’t.
I considered throwing them away when I finally got my professional title as an accountant: surely it was time to accept that my identity as an artist and a dancer was over? Surely it was time to be mature and pursue a real career? I’m glad I didn’t. For here I am, a decade later, finally giving voice to my feelings. My form of self-expression is not and never will be those point shoes, but I hope my words and laptop will fill that artistic void. That shoe-box keeps me accountable for following my dreams.
So? Which of these 2 objects do I own? Which one is real? Leave your answer in the comments – and let me know what makes you think so! Please – this will help me work on the verissimilitude of my creative writing. Your feedback is appreciated!