The undertow should have scared me more than it did, but mostly I hoped no one saw me and even though we used to take those Stuntman shots, I didn’t figure the salt water would shave my nasal cavity quite so close. In the process of not dying in the Mediterranean however, I lost my second toe ring. The one I got in Los Angeles when I was super into the guy with the Che Guevara tattoo. The one I wore on my left foot and, for two years, never fully got used to. 

I remember sitting on the couch in Chicago, looking around the room at all the books, and photos, and furniture, thinking, “but what the fuck are we going to do with all this stuff?” For months, I had eaten only M&Ms and I had no idea how to stop something so huge in its tracks other than lay myself down in front of it. And after, on a Tuesday at the gym, I forgot to put my ring back on even though I never forgot to put my ring back on. Never once in the five years since I bought it, at an art fair in Aix. 

Since I don’t drink beer, we decided half-car-bombs would be a better bet, which really meant straight Jameson, and whiskey doesn’t treat me like friends should. One miserable cab ride later found me without one earring. The pair of which I got on the street from a student-artist dressed for homelessness when I was subconsciously scouting new places to live. I wore them in my license photo, when I moved away and fell for the boy everyone told me to avoid. 

It doesn’t surprise me to lose jewelry around relationships anymore. There are many other examples, after all. 

The four-leaf clover necklace that I bought in New Hampshire broke last week, though. Through all of my cities, all of my jobs, nearly every day for twelve years, I wore the silver chain with a painted abalone shell. I suppose it got sick of my sweaty class instruction and draft beer mishaps, and it dramatically jumped out of its enclosure in a mess of dirty metal and sand. On a Wednesday, with no heartbreak in sight. 

I’m teaching a creative sequencing workshop for other yoga teachers this week, so I’ve been bookmarking my anatomy book to validate some of the points I want to make. Specifically, I’m deeply in love with the oblique sling and I wanted concrete markers to explain it in easy pieces. 

“Notice how the obliques become the intercostals,” it said. The muscles that wrap your torso diagonally, start to work their way up and through until they become the muscles that wrap your ribs. The point is, it’s all connected. Sometimes so much that one muscle fluidly becomes another one. Until it involves your chest, your back, your shoulder. Until it’s one, big, hug of an oblique sling. 

I bought the ring in Aix, one day before I left for Nice, where I would stick my foot under a rock in the sea and lose my toe ring. I bought the earrings in Boston on vacation, the week before I ended everything and lost the ring in a locker room back in Chicago. And somewhere up in the intercostals, on Thursday, I found a place to stay in Santa Monica, and I booked my flights.