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A Finder, No Longer a Keeper

Jenny Klion | Longreads | February 14, 2018 | 2,134 words
Posted inEssays & Criticism, Nonfiction, Story, Unapologetic Women

A Finder, No Longer a Keeper

How finding someone else’s engagement ring helped Jenny Klion let go of her own.
Photo by Eva Van Wassenhove

Jenny Klion | Longreads | February 2018 | 14 minutes (2,134 words)

Twenty years ago, in the parking lot of a Cirque du Soleil show at Santa Monica Beach, I saw in the dust an antique diamond engagement ring. Of course I picked it up, all tiny diamond and huge ring size, but the mystery took hold of me: who was its owner, what was her story, and did she mean to throw away her marital promise ring?

“Look at this!” I said to my new husband James. We’d only recently found each other, were instantly simpatico, and had married at nearly first sight.

“Are you sure you want to mess with that?” he asked. “That’s somebody’s magic, you know, sitting in the dirt.” He was always talking about somebody’s magic, and messing with it.

“I do!” I gleaned, and pocketed the sweet thing.

Six months later, back in New York City, I was lying on the floor in a group hippie singing class, engaged in a visualization exercise about some inner artistic journey. Our instructions were to invent a guide-type helper for ourselves, and at the end, give that guide a gift. So in my mind’s eye, because it was all I could think of, I offered up the antique diamond engagement ring I’d found in the Cirque du Soleil parking lot. I felt very good about myself, filled with generosity and hope.

But when I checked in on the ring proper, which I’d stashed away for safekeeping — there it wasn’t. Well, the ring was in its place, but the diamond was gone. It had disappeared. I had no idea what happened to it.

“Did that imaginary guide-type helper actually take the diamond?” I wondered aloud. Was that possible?

“No,” James scoffed, laughing, pulling me onto his lap. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Hey, you are messing with my magic,” I said, a bit stung, and moved away from him.

It’s what I wanted to believe, anyway. Because since then, I find jewelry, nearly everywhere I go.

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