The wedding ring

A while back I decided that I should quit wearing a wedding band. I’m not married. When I first tried to take it off, though, I couldn’t, because I’d become a hog. I couldn’t control my emotions or feelings, but I could control the hell out of some food, and now my ring wouldn’t come off. I didn’t mind being associated with my dead-as-a-doornail wife. I minded being trapped by my ring.

Recently I was fiddling with my wedding ring and it passed over my knuckle accidentally. It had seemed immovable and here it was nearly off more or less on its own. I was alarmed, so I put it back on and felt much better. At least now I know it can come off, and that’ll do for now.

I’ve been a little rocky lately coming up on the anniversary of Janice’s death. The quality of the light makes me sad. In September, sunlight comes farther into our house as the ecliptic gets lower in the sky, and beginning well before winter, we could lie in bed in the sun, a simple and luxurious pleasure, especially in winter.

When Janice died, there were several doodads on the window sill, including a couple of crystals that could catch the light and pass it on in color to a wall. I took to hanging several crystals in the window, which I could set in motion to make little spectrums dance all around the room. I felt like a 2-year-old. I’m looking forward to doing it this year.

I’ve heard about how hard the “firsts” are—the first birthday, holiday, wedding anniversary, and so on. Mine were easy. Janice’s birthday was three weeks after her death while I was still numb, and then there was Thanksgiving and my birthday, then Christmas-and-New Year’s right away and our anniversary, but none of them meant anything—well, maybe our anniversary. For the rest, she wasn’t there, and they didn’t really happen for me. Christmas didn’t happen last year, ditto New Year’s Eve, and somehow I got older without a birthday.

Having gone through four seasons since Janice skipped out and I was last a husband, I feel like I know what’s what with grief—mine anyway. I could easily be wrong, and still I take comfort in thinking that I won’t be sad forever—I’m not often sad now—and that happiness is still frequent and always possible. I know all that, and still this September is a bitch. I’m not blaming anything on September, which I’m sure is doing the best it can. I’m just saying.