I have this bracelet that I wear all the time. It's nothing gaudy, or particularly enviable. It's just a string of wooden beads, one larger than the others. The ends of the thread are frayed where it's been knotted together.
I was given this as a gift almost two years ago, by a friend of my mother's. She explained they were "prayer beads"--but she used them to relieve stress or to relax. The first day I had them I laid on the floor of my living room (which is not exactly the most comfortable, seeing as it's hard wood) and closed my eyes and concentrated on rolling the beads around the bracelet, one at a time. I don't know that is particularly made me feel anything, but the quiet was great.
I don't know when it happened, or how, but gradually I came to wearing them more often. Then whenever I thought of them in the morning. Then every single day.
And now--now it's gotten to the point where I fall asleep with them on.
The beads are the first thing I reach for when I'm bored, anxious, excited. I have a habit of taking them off my wrist and twisting them around, sectioning them off, until they're in groups of three-four-five. I especially did this when I had my choir practices. We'd get up into rows to practice, and there I'd be, twisting them around unconsciously. One morning our teacher said, politely, "Please do not mess with your jewelry if you're wearing it, because it can be distracting."
Me: *slowly drops hands* Heh.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was sitting in my room talking to my friend when suddenly I realized--I wasn't wearing the beads. Obviously, this equaled much nervousness in me. She was kind enough to help me look until we decided to check outside when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, in my coatsleeve, a beaded bracelet!
...And, yeah, that did not have the same rhythm to it as The Night Before Chistmas. Moving on.
I found it in my coat sleeve, where it had come off when I was taking off my coat. So that was a relief. Happy, I slipped it back on.
Tonight, just minutes ago, I was coming upstairs when all the sudden my senses kicked in, I looked down, and it was gone. The beaded bracelet. I set down my waterglass and hurried downstairs to look for it. Nope, nothing, nada. But I was sure I'd been wearing it earlier today. And, ohmigosh, what if it came off while we were Grocery shopping? What if I was messing with it and it slipped off and it's gone?
But it was all for naught. My super detective skills (not) led me to my bedroom, where I checked my bed, and yup...there it was.
It'd slipped off last night, and I'd never even worn it today.
So what made me so sure? Why was I willing to bet that I'd had it on from the very moment I woke up?
Repetition, I suppose. Having it all those other days.
I was so used to it being there, it'd no longer become a conscious motion for me to get up, put it on, know it was there. For some reason I just repeat that routine automatically.
Sometimes certain things slip past our unawares. We let it go, because we're certain of it, whatever it is. A person, a place, a thing. When it's lost, after a while, our brain finally kicks in. We become self-aware. And then it becomes this huge glaring, gaping thing. How could I have not seen? you ask yourself. How could I have been so unaware?
Ask me why this bracelet means so much, and I don't know if I could really tell you. Its weight on my wrist is nonexistent, but my draw to it is. And it's a bracelet. Even I don't fully get it.
It's nothing gaudy. Or particularly enviable.
But I love it. I wear it all the time.
So much so, that I automatically assume I'm wearing it when I'm not. And then I look down, and the panic sets in, and I'm suddenly self-aware.
The good ending to the story, though, is that I always find the bracelet.
*knocks on wood*