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Green Fingers

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

I wear five rings between two hands; dispersed evenly, one on every second finger. When I clasp my palms together there is the perfect quantity of sparsity and features. I haven’t changed these rings in what feels like two years, but it could easily be more than that.

My love for hand jewellery began in Penney’s in Kilkenny with a packet of knock-off designer rings for five euro. Within the week they had turned my fingers green. Not just stained, lingered, refusing to fade. Not only that, the rings themselves had reduced to rubble like some sort of inhibitor; opposite to a catalyst, entirely defeated. I dedicated the next few months to becoming a true ‘ring wearer’ along with al, the stereotypes and aesthetics associated with such a path. My most recent addition was the wrap-around silver band permanently affixed to my pinky. I bought it for the second debs I went to. It’s a beauty, but is prone to blacken from ink stains. Since then, I haven’t taken the opportunity to buy more rings despite many a time having an excuse to do so. I wish my other rings each had heavy back stories, but this isn’t the case. I was in my grandmother’s room one day and she gave me three almost identical rings; garnet, oryx and opal. One is too big whereas the other two fit perfectly. My grandmother kept the rings with histories for herself; maternity, fraternity, eternity, paternity. I don’t blame her. My rings have been a conversation starter or an excuse to hold other people’s hands. Look at my hands! Tell me about the jewellery you have at home. Ask me where I got them! Look at my slim fingers from thirteen years of piano! Dents from incorrectly holding a pen. White marks on my fingernails; actually caused by bruising not calcium deficiency (a fact I learnt in a David Bowie biography, supposedly he was riddled with them). I’m always asked if I’m engaged. I’ve been considering whether an engagement ring would make me take off the rest of my rings. I could never wear a wedding ring, that would ruin the perfect arrangement of my hands. Or would it go unnoticed? Beside my oversized oryx ring, blending in to the many others.

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