On my left hand, I wear a gold evil eye, and on my right a plastic lilac thumb ring, just below the nearly-chewed off nails which are painted a blueish purple—my hands are nonsensical. Have you ever met one of those people who take you on tours of their tattoos, walking you through the journey of their body art? No, neither have I. But I’ve heard of them. They seem cool and well-lived, maybe a little traumatized. Maybe my hands—messed up and frightening and struggling to survive—can be a smaller, bitchier version of them.
Half of my rings are rusting. This I don’t understand; I am vigilant about not getting them wet. Taking off every ring before washing my hands is one of life’s bigger hassles, but I do it. And what do these efforts get me? Countless pieces of lost jewelry, randomly turning up months later in pockets or piles of hoodies stuffed under my bed.
Maybe I’m meant to take this as a sign to just stop with all the rings and put a pause on hoarding fake metal on my pinky fingers. Maybe I’m meant to let my hands roam and leave what little nails I have left free from toxic chemicals.
But then again, the semester is coming to an end, shorts have emerged from dusty drawers, and priorities have shifted from studying in Bass to photosynthesizing on Cross Campus. The change in temperature has compelled me to pierce my ears in the hallway bathroom and convince my suitemate that tattoos are the move for next weekend. I think the least I can commit to is keeping my hands cool.
I’m hoping five rings will grow to nine, pinky rings will become a daily addition, and the stubby nails will alternate between hot pink, dusty gray, and midnight black. The shade will depend on whose attention I’m trying to get. But as long as I have the rings, I have time to figure the details out.