I keep it in a lockbox by the side of the bed and there it nestles alongside 6 silver dollars and a pair of .45s. The markings on it are not so much cryptic as celtic. I don't and won't ever put it on my finger again. It stays locked in a box for a reason. I can't share the reason but it is there.
It remains. An enduring and indestructible symbol of something that died.
The only other thing in the box is the spare car key. I had to open the box to get them a couple of years ago. I barely noticed the ring. I had forgotten about it. I thought it was gone with all my stuff when I left California behind and headed east. I thought I gave it away with all my other things.
I held on to the second ring though.That one is much older and it's from a different era. It was family. It was my great uncle's and he got it from his dad. When my dad was in Vietnam we lived in Carlisle and I must have been all of 4 when he and I stood and watched the Doughboys march past us in their old uniforms. Everybody stood. It was 1967. There weren't a lot of them as they paraded in their uniforms on Veteran's Day that day but I remember. Carlisle is home to the Army War College and yet you would never know it was there. It is, mo debinately, not a military town.
That's the second ring. It's the one that matters. I gave it to the woman I love.
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