Beanery Online Literary Magazine

March 19, 2008

THE RING

Filed under: WR/V JANE — beanerywriters @ 2:42 am
Tags: , , , ,

We walked down Parkside Avenue, away from my house and towards the lights of the other young people. We walked toward whichever one of the bars would catch our attention that night. We held hands. Lord, how his smile lit up the night. Just being in his company reached into my heart. We stopped half way up the block and kissed under a streetlight. He gave me his class ring. Was it the third or fourth time? I knew the ritual of wrapping yarn and tape by heart. I did it carefully, so it would look OK. How many times would he give it to me, and how many times would I give it back?
 
We were a little bit older that day. The ring reminded me of the days watching him play baseball. An odd assortment of his friends would sometimes be there. We laughed, we cheered him on. They knew whose girl I was.
 
The ring reminded me of when he needed to be with me, and my lesson in needing to be with him. “Do you have to always kiss me?” How many times did I say that? One sunny afternoon we made love in Ruda’s bedroom. Ruda and her Dad were out somewhere. We were two children playing in the world of adults. I was sore, and it hurt to walk for days, but once we found this playground we reveled in it. Sometimes we named the children we would eventually have. Kelly would be the first.

But eventually, the ring went back.
 
We walked down Parkside Avenue. I didn’t know this would be the last time I would take the ring from him. I didn’t think there would ever be a last time. I thought that he would love me through my growing pains. I thought that he would love me until I could love him back as a woman.
 
One day he was gone. Not a word, not an explanation. My heart was broken as only a young woman’s can be. It was broken without the years of protection built up. It was broken with no jaded armor to protect it.
 
Eventually, over the years, I would think of the ring. I would hope with all my heart that he was happy in his life.

Thirty years go by. Life goes on with children and failed marriages. I hold this first love in my heart. I hold his smile and his sparkling eyes.
 
Thirty years go by and I hear from him. We talk about memories. He fills the holes in some of mine, and I fill the holes in some of his. He tried to talk about what mattered. He said “You always handed me my heart on a platter.” I got defensive and answered him. “I was a kid!” I never told him that my heart was broken all these years. I just never told him. I never told him he was right. You can’t give love completely to another when a part of your heart is missing.
 
I never told him how much I miss the ring.

Read about the unicorn by clicking on THE UNICORN: MYTH OR REALITY?

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18 Comments »

  1. Sorry, Jane and Doc, who are reuniting on this site. I accidentally deleted your comments. Please repost if you will. Carolyn

    Comment by beanerywriters — April 19, 2008 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Jane,

    “The Ring” is so familiar to many growing up. I think that you have captured the roller coaster ride of emotions that youth’s love experiences. It’s interesting how we take these experiences into our adulthood but don’t really talk about them.

    Drop a line at the email attached and I will answer the questions that you posed before your sister wiped us out! I’d rather not post here since it’s really not pertinent to your writing.

    Keep up the writing.

    Doc

    Comment by Doc — April 25, 2008 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks, doc. Hasn’t Jane E-mailed you yet? She’s been on meds and may not be “computering” very well right now. She and I both have heart problems—of ALL kinds!!! I’m certain she will respond to you soon. Carolyn

    Comment by beanerywriters — April 25, 2008 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Carolyn,
    Well it’s been almost a year since we last chatted. Please just tell Jane that I was just doing inventory in my life and have been checking in on people that I knew over the years and just wondered how she was doing. She and I worked at Tops and we spent time together for a few months before she went to England in her senior year of high school. That was a long time ago! Never heard from her again. One of those unsolved mysteries that we sometimes have as we are moving through life. She can drop a line at the above email address if not, best wishes & happiness.
    Doc

    Comment by Doc — March 1, 2009 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  5. Doc, I don’t recall, but if my memory serves me, I don’t think Jane has truly figured out who you are. You could email me at beanerywriters@yahoo.com if you want her to know. I tried contacting her earlier today but she must be away.
    Carolyn C. Holland

    Comment by beanerywriters — March 1, 2009 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  6. Jane geve me permission to send you her email address, which I will do via email.
    She has no clue who you are, but on consideration she wonders if you are Patrick or the Jewish friend she knew from working her few months at Tops.
    Please send me a carbon copy of the email you send her (Jane just called me a nosy parker—I am writing this comment while I am talking to her).
    We want to know what clues you had from this post aside from Parkside Avenue (Buffalo) and her name, Jane.
    I ask you both to carry on an Internet conversation by commenting here at the Beanery Writers Online Literary Magazine, so that others following this reunion saga can enjoy the results.
    Carolyn C. Holland

    Comment by Carolyn — March 2, 2009 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  7. What’s up Doc? (Sorry, I had to do it!)

    I just had a great long talk with my sister. She is VERY nosy, don’t you think? But I love her very much all the same.

    I don’t know what happened that I didn’t write before, but it may have been just as Carolyn said. Sometimes I am on meds greater than myself. It’s a little difficult for me to stay awake at the computer now, but I’ll do my best.

    Meanwhile, I will stay confused as to who you are and wait for you to send me an email. (And dutifully write back here about it.)

    Comment by Jane Driver — March 2, 2009 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  8. A mystery it will be for a bit more then…..(anything for nosy older sisters)(What is a parker?)

    You were a senior at the school where your father taught.
    You were a cashier at TOPS and I was stock boy.
    I am bigger than a bread box but smaller than an elephant.
    Jewish? No, I attended your church once and you attended mine once.
    At the time you introduced me to David Bowie’s …”This is ground control to Major Tom……”
    Sassafras tea.(I think)

    Doc

    Comment by Doc — March 3, 2009 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  9. John Patrick Patrick?
    Am I allowed to ask questions?
    Even though you may be smaller than an elephant you certainly have the memory of one. I forgot that at that time I loved sassafras tea. I did remember always liking David Bowie.
    Did we have long conversations about religion?

    NOSY PARKER

    quote:[Q] From Jo Ann Larkin: “I am a language arts teacher and I often use word etymology to pique my students’ interest in the development of language. We all enjoy discussing the origin of slang phrases. One in particular has us stumped, so I submit it to you for any help you may be able to give us. The term in question is nosy Parker. Any ideas?”

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-nos2.htm

    Comment by Jane Driver — March 4, 2009 @ 12:40 am | Reply

  10. Of course you may ask questions!

    Yes, we had many conversations regarding religion and spiritual matters.

    JPP

    Comment by Doc — March 4, 2009 @ 3:11 am | Reply

  11. So the mystery is no more…as to the identity of the person in Jane’s past! Finally…JPP, do you still live in the same ‘hood? Perhaps Jane’s OLDER sister could meet you for coffee some time. You seem to know a lot about her that I missed by living away at the time…I’m so old that I recall changing Jane’s diapers, however!!!

    OK, JPP, have you read Jane’s story David?

    And to learn more about me (through my writings) visit:
    http://www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com
    http://www.laurelmountainboro.wordpress.com

    Carolyn…the old and decrepid older sister…

    Comment by beanerywriters — March 4, 2009 @ 3:14 am | Reply

  12. Well, JPP, I am very honored to remain a part of your life’s inventory. Awhile ago I learned that it was important to me to “matter”. I think we all want to, in one way or another.
    There was a “debate” we were going to have once, and I had to back out of it because it frightened me too much. Do you remember it?

    Now, for Carolyn. What made you choose the story David? And for JPP, of your writings on here, which one would you want me to read the most? And why that one?

    Comment by Jane Driver — March 4, 2009 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  13. To Carolyn,

    No, I haven’t lived in the hood for over 35 years. It was difficult for me to stay there. I was born there but it never felt like the place to remain. I live on an escarpment surrounded by quiet hills which overlooks a breath taking view of a great lake. Yes, I have read the story of David. Lots of personal symbolism contained within. As for coffee, I’m a tea drinker. One never knows when and where our paths may cross. Thank you for forwarding my message to Jane.

    Doc

    Comment by Doc — March 4, 2009 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

  14. Yes, I very much remember that we had planned to have a “great debate” when you returned from overseas. I know that it was a frightening topic at the time. You too have a good memory!

    As for your writing, the piece that struck a chord with me was the first one that I ever read by you: “A Cry For Goodness”. I sensed that it had a reference to our great debate era. A yearning to break from the grip of…

    You often use the “eye” in your works. The window that soul looks through to this world. Good choice.

    Next question!

    JPP

    Comment by JPP — March 4, 2009 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  15. JPP I must ask you—do you write? If so, how about emailing me a sample—you have my online address.

    Jane writes interesting stuff. Too bad she isn’t able to write much now!

    Carolyn

    Comment by beanerywriters — March 4, 2009 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

  16. I am trying to find “A Cry For Goodness” but can’t find it. I either don’t know how to navigate the site or it is archived or removed. I will have to look through disks to find it in my stuff. I need to read it again with a different “eye” and emptied mind.

    You were very good at stimulating my mind and pushing me to go beyond the simplest thoughts. (Plonk….my head went down on the desk and I fell asleep awhile. I’m back now.) THAT’S A GIFT THAT I DON’T OBSERVE ONE PERSON GIVING TO ANOTHER VERY OFTEN.

    Quote: As for your writing, the piece that struck a chord with me was the first one that I ever read by you: “A Cry For Goodness”. I sensed that it had a reference to our great debate era. A yearning to break from the grip of…
    You must have known who I was for awhile? Of course, the name Lipsius is on a lot of the writings. There is a grip from the debate, but I do not wish to break from the era. There is still so much to learn from it. Is it possible to learn if your side had the power to pull me out of my side?…..one of the things I found it was very important to find out in this part of my journey.

    If anyone else is reading this I wonder what questions they are coming up with. **giggle**

    Time off from work was a good thing for us. I remember we sat in your yard often to talk, but I don’t remember where else? We were not geeky. I’m sure that people at the store just thought we were go nowhere cashiers and box boys. You may have made it all the way up to assistant manager someday!There must be thousands of quotes about judging people and looking beyond the cover, etc.
    That is the second time I wrote “quote” in here, so I have to ask you. Did the site explain nosy parker well enough?

    OK, on to next question. You’ll have to look for it in your email. I don’t know if the answer is something you want out in the world. That’s your decision to report it to Carolyn or not. (Oh boy, this will drive her crazy!)

    Call me: Happy to be reunited Janie.

    Comment by Jane Driver — March 5, 2009 @ 1:20 am | Reply

  17. Jane, you navigate this site OK. A Cry for Goodness is not posted, nor can I immediately find it on the old host site. I’ll have to look for it.

    So you want to drive your big sis crazy, huh? Your nicname should be Driver, because that’s what you do to me, Driver me Crazy! This is supposed to be an ONLINE conversation.

    SISTERS! Oh well, without them where would we be?

    Carolyn

    Comment by beanerywriters — March 5, 2009 @ 3:20 am | Reply

  18. http://rageings.com/ACryForGoodness.html

    (-;

    Comment by JPP — March 5, 2009 @ 9:05 pm | Reply


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