When I entered the room, the smell of desperation went up my nose and stayed there. I scanned the room to find anyone who reminded me of my ex. He resembled the butler on The Addam’s Family, Lurch, due to his height, although he wasn’t quite that tall. I did a lot of wiping of my forehead that night. It was hot inside and the hundreds of single women vying for male attention made it even hotter. I had forgotten my lucky bracelet and only noticed it was missing when I went to make sure it was there. I would never forgive myself if I had lost it somewhere especially going to a mixer. I had stopped at a few places along the way but, I was sure it was still tucked inside its protective bag. I never should’ve listened to my friend who went MIA the moment she saw her Romeo. I could’ve been home watching Pretty Woman.
I spotted something shiny near the trash can. I bent down and picked it up. It was shiny alright. It was a woman’s bracelet, one of those fancy ones. It wasn’t something you buy in the mall or maybe you did as a knock off. It’s hard to tell these days if something is the real McCoy. I imagined this woman being of high class, you know those snooty Manhattan women with their Wall Street husbands. She probably looked like Ivanka Trump with three kids but this isn’t New York. To me she’s just another person sucking up the air, rich or not, and I left it there for somebody else to snatch up. It wasn’t until I was backing up that I hopped out and stuffed it in my pocket. The chances she would come back was unlikely. I tried to leave it with the clerk, but he didn’t want it. It was only after I shoved it in his hand that he took it. Even if she was driving across state lines for some reason, you never know what a woman will do. Bitches are crazy these days.
All I wanted to do was crash when I got home. I lived in the basement of my aunt’s house since my parents had disowned me for killing my sister when we drove back home from a party. I was hardly over the legal limit, but still I was charged with second degree murder. I served my time and when I was released, I found work as a car mechanic. It was the only thing I was interested in and the only thing that didn’t feel like work. I’m fully aware that idle time isn’t good for someone like me. My parents forbid me to visit Mary’s grave on the day she died, but I’m able to go any other day of the year. On the twentieth year and one day since leaving us, one of friends from high school put a bracelet in my hand. When I asked him where it came from, he said not to worry as it wasn’t stolen. Someone had found it outside and after six months of no one claiming it, he thought better to give it to someone than throw it away.
My grandfather had died when he was 95. This was last year and I’m still emotional from the loss. I was one of the few who visited him on a regular basis. He had dementia and not even my mother could handle him at times. He seemed to calm down when I was around and remembered more too. This was before the disease completely took him hostage. When I first visited him, I cried nonstop. The tears flowed and after I wiped them away, I saw an object reflecting light off its surface. It was a bracelet and noticed the clasp had come undone. I read the names on the gravestones. A woman must have mourned their father or brother or even husband and in their pain lost it somehow. It couldn’t have been purposely placed there or could it have been? I left that day with more understanding of why my grandpa had to leave me. I walked back to my car and I don’t know why I did it. I tossed the bracelet where it went over the edge and rolled down the hill.
When I was hired as a landscaper, I was thrilled. Not only could I be around flowers, but I loved the smell of cut grass. I know it might be morbid to be around dead people, but their souls are no longer within them. Sure, they have bodies but over time they became a part of the Earth again. I’m no hippie, but I appreciate the cycle of life and death or maybe it’s death and life. Either way, this is my last year before I’m sitting on my couch, eating Andes mints, and watching reruns of The Addam’s Family and Star Trek. The thing I’ll miss the most is seeing the families comforted by the little gestures I provided them. I’ll never forget the day my lawnmower ran over that bracelet. I don’t know who it belonged to or how it got there, but when I hopped off my seat and looked at the damage the blades had done, for some reason I felt a sadness. I knew it was pointless to try to find the owner. It was like trying to find a tiny needle in hundreds of haystacks. They were not part of those pretty landscapes Monet paints. I’ve moved around a few times in my life and each time I made sure to bring the bracelet with me for it contained many stories. I will never know them and while it sounds funny, it will be buried with me when I die because everything has a cycle.