In a fit of youthful rebellion during my Emerson days, I got my upper left ear pierced. The fine folks at Evolution Piercing in Providence did a great job. For the first few days, I got a crash-course in exactly how much I use my left ear. Whenever I picked up the phone, the caller usually got an "Ow! Dammit!" as the receiver sent a jolt through the sore cartilage. The boy I babysit for was endlessly fascinated with the new jewelry, and grabbed at it when I picked him up, leading to an "Ow! Da--OW!" when he did it. But as the pain subsided, I liked my tame little display of rebellion. It bothered my mother. I could hide it under my hair for job interviews. Most days, it was the only earring I wore since I usually forget to put earrings in my lobes.
After working out today, I brushed my hair to even out the ponytail bumps. I'm not a delicate brusher, and like so many hairdressers before me, I gave the hoop a good tug. Usually, it's just a reminder of the initial pain of the piercing when it gets yanked, but as I lifted my hair to check for any bleeding I noticed the ball that holds the piercing on fell off. I looked around to see if I could find it, but had no luck. I debated leaving the hoop in and hoping it didn't slide off, but it looked stupid without the little red ball. Without a hint of pain, I took the metal circle out of my ear for the first time in at least five years.
The hole is already closing up without the earring in there. I know I could get another hoop at pretty much any store, but I'm not sure if I still want the piercing. Like one of those straw wish bracelets touristy stores sell children, I always kind of thought when the earring came out--be it by a stylist's brute force or a strong wave at the beach-- it was time to let it go. But it's the one physical thing that identified me as somewhat of a rebel since I don't like tattoos (on me) and I don't own thick-framed glasses. I guess I'll have to dust off my Docs and reminisce that way if the hole closes up.