My grand-aunt gave it to me when I was a kid; she says she "found it"; I've never asked what that means exactly, but I sometimes think it means "on the sidewalk". Anyway, I was going through my EGYPT STUFF IS COOL phase (which, like my horse phase, I never really grew out of), so I was like OMG COOL NECKLACE. I used to bring it with me when I traveled, because it was black and silver, and could be dressy or casual, so basically it went with everything. Often times it was the only jewelry piece I brought with me.
Over time, it got so that it didn't feel right if I traveled without it, ever. I developed a mild superstition about it. When there was turbulence, or if I had any passing anxious plane-crash fantasy, I would touch the necklace and feel better. I started to wear it all the time when I wasn't traveling. It was my Lucky Necklace, and as I said, it matched with everything. When artistic friends sketched my likeness, they invariably included the ankh; it was a part of me. I had to change the cord once or twice, but the pendant stuck with me. I used to worry; what the hell would I do if I ever lost it?
Last September I went on a trip to Europe with my mother, and of course the ankh came with me, through limestone mountains and over river rapids and into the Adriatic Sea. We visited my darling Neve in Bulgaria, and on a walk through the autumn woods on a mountain called Rila, my ankh broke in half, seemingly entirely at random. By the time I noticed, the bottom half was lost forever in the fallen leaves.
I was heartbroken, as you can imagine. But what could I do? I had to be zen about it. There was no getting it back, and getting upset would do nothing for me. And I'm not actually superstitious, so I knew I'd be perfectly safe traveling without it. But I felt naked without it.
Friends suggested I buy a replacement ankh, but... I couldn't just buy any old ankh from Hot Topic, it had to be special. I was determined to find a replacement pendant, another ankh or something else, but I knew I'd have to wait for it to come to me.
...So on my date with Forrest on Sunday (four days ago), I happened to give him the short version of this story. On our date tonight, he gives me this:
I was procrastinating, he says, so I made it for you. (Read, PERSONALLY CARVED BY HAND.) It's abalone. I thought it matched your eyes, which are, by the way, beautiful, he says. He says, the brass bead at the top is from Ethiopia, it's a hundred years old.
...........................I SWEAR TO GOD I DON'T THINK HE IS ACTUALLY REAL SOMETIMES, WHAT THE HELL.
The ankh is perfect and beautiful, I will wear it all the time and keep it forever. Possibly I will also keep Forrest forever, oh my god.
Also tonight was the first rock concert I've been to since I left Portland. IT WAS SO EXCELLENT. Opening band was Mike Love and Paula Fuga and... whoever their drummer was, doing some local reggae that I actually kind of adored. Never seen Fuga live before... goddamn that woman can sing. The main act was Nahko and Medicine for the People, back in Hilo again after a year of touring. When I heard Medicine for the People two years ago they were a reggae band. Now they're straight-up, punch-you-in-the-face rock and roll with flavors of tribal drums and beat-boxing, with subtle reggae, world music, and Hawaiian influences and a world peace/First Nations issues/environmentalism sensibility. They're mixed-race and mixed-gender and full of bouncy energy and badassery and adorableness, especially Nahko, omg what a lovely and hilarious human being. I bought their new album, and I'll be keeping a close eye on them in the future.
...Gods I've missed rock concerts. I had so much fun.
So worth the... almost no sleep I'm going to get tonight. Early morning drive to Hakalau to catch birds, WHOO.
ETA: IN A HORRIBLE IRONIC TWIST, after staying up to 3 a.m. making lunch for the field and printing papers to read during downtime, I slept straight through my alarm and the group left without me, thus negating my reason for making lunch and printing papers. I feel like a shit head because E asked for my help and I let him down. FML. ...On the plus side, I really need the sleep and the study time? ......But srsly fml.