This evening while I was sitting on the couch reading a novel, I accidentally swallowed my wedding ring. You may be wondering why, or how? Well, I believe that I suffer from certain oral fixations or obsessive compulsive disorder. When I am writing or reading I seem to need to have something in my mouth- constantly. Tonight I pulled the ring off my finger with my lips and sucked on it in my mouth as if it was a candy. I stuck my tongue through its hole and ran it around along my teeth. I was not terribly aware of what I was doing since I was so engrossed in the book I was reading.
My wedding ring is made out of one ounce of white gold. It is a thick ring that rests on my finger like a small weight (reminding me of my eternal commitment). How I managed to have it in my mouth without noticing boggles my mind. I first became aware of what was taking place when I felt the metallic sensation of the ring passing down my throat. I choked for a moment and then started to cough when I realized what I had just done. Panic came over me and I ran into the bathroom and tried to make myself vomit. I thought that I could die as a result of swallowing my wedding ring. I thought about my obituary- man dies by swallowing his wedding ring, as my whole body began to shake. When minutes passed and I was still alive but unable to regurgitate my wedding ring, I called my wife into the room and told her what happened.
As she stood in front (I was on my knees in front of the toilet bowl) of me aghast at what I had done, I felt the a cold metallic sensation skipping around in my intestines. I was not sick but terribly uncomfortable. “You are so absent minded! You forget to turn off the heat, to feed the cat and now you swallow your wedding ring!! When are you going to get it together- you need to wake up!!!” I knew she was letting off steam so I allowed her to freely vent. She had spent her last two thousand dollars to buy me this ring and now I had just swallowed it. As far as she was concerned the ring was gone, buried in the penetralia of my intestinal regions. “Baby don’t worry, I’ll either shit it out or have it surgically removed,” I said to her as she dropped to her knees. “When are you going to wake up!!” she kept repeating as I sat on the floor with my hands on my stomach and a feeling of anxiety in my chest.
My grandmother always told me that if I was going to be a reader of fiction, that I should prepare myself for not being in the world. What she meant was that a symptom of reading fiction is being absent minded in day to day life. My grandmother felt that fiction readers (and poetry readers) lived in a world of thought and fantasy rather than reality. I disagreed with her until I was in my ninth year of reading fiction every day. I started doing stupid, absent minded things like rear ending cars and forgetting to pull up my zipper because I was thinking about the plot of a book. But now I have swallowed my wedding ring. This act of mine makes me feel like my grandmothers words were a prophetic warning.
My wife was able to get control over herself and called a poison control center. They told her that if I do not poop out the ring by tomorrow morning that I should go to the emergency room. They recommended that I eat prunes and lots of fiber to move my bowls. My wife slowly came to a state where she could take pity upon my state and began to treat me like a man who needed help. She made me prune tea and put a blanket over me while I lied flat out on the couch. She has been rubbing my head and cynically uttering comical comments like “you are so silly.” I am yet to poop out the ring but it is my hope that after a few more cups of prune tea and a good nights rest that I will be wearing my wedding ring by lunch time tomorrow.