|Not me. By a long-shot.|
Since then, my pierced navel has been seen by only a handful of people, including one man who got paid to look at it. Well, not it specifically. He's my lady-parts doctor. But, technically, if his eyes made a non-creepy full sweep, he would have seen it. (And I say non-creepy because I'm pretty sure he's gay. "Well, well, well!" he sings with his hands on his hips. "Let's have a looooook-see!") Other than that, few get a good long look at it.
You can probably hear it, though. Especially if I'm nervous or bored. I have a habit of taking the fingernail of my left pointer finger and flicking the belly ring back and forth from outside of my shirt. It makes a satisfying clicking noise, like I'm sending some kind of Morse code message. It's the grown-up version of having a favorite corner of a blanky to rub when tired. This alone was worth getting the piercing so many years ago.
Even the Dead Kennedy-listening, leather jacket-wearing, beer for breakfast-drinking, two pack a day-smoking, combat boot-wearing, bong-making, old lady-scaring, high school dropouts that I found myself socializing with didn't have piercings. It just wasn't something people really did. Tattoos, though, were another thing.
Funny thing is I find myself, for the first time in my life, wanting to commemorate this moment with a tattoo. This moment of unknowing. This moment of I-thought-I-knew-how-things-would-be-in-my-life and-they're-not-like-that. At all." This I-thought-I'd-be-married-at-38-and-instead-I'm twice-divorced moment. This I-thought-I'd-have-kids-and-it's-possible-that's-not-in-the-cards-for-me moment. This maybe-my-life-is-unfolding-in-a-beautiful-way-that-I-could-not-have-ever-imagined moment. This open-to-the-possibilities moment. This moment of not looking "out there" to fill what's "in here."
Contrary to my nature, I haven't run out and branded myself after pounding some Starbucks and slipping a $20 to a local tattoo artist wannabe. I'm sitting with it for a bit. But, I feel it coming.
And, true- I could be 50, 60, 70 years old and look down at that marking on my body and think, "What in God's name was I thinking?" Or I could look at it and think, "You're a funny, kid...kid. You wondered how life would turn out. And look at how it did. Pretty amazing, huh?"