Return of the ankh

Personal mythology is a funny business. The relative value of certain things can only be truly measured within one's personal mythology, and yet to others these things may mean something completely different. So it is with the ankh.

I have never been one to wear jewelry. It makes me feel uncomfortable to the point where I don't even like to wear a watch, and haven't worn one in over ten years. I don't like rings and I have exactly zero piercings. Years ago I was relating these same details to a female friend who then promised to bring me a gift the next time we saw each other. The gift was a wrought iron ankh made by a blacksmith she knew. It was fairly heavy and large with six sharp points. The ankh hung from a leather cord, which she placed around my neck. For nearly two years it never left my neck. I slept with it on, showered with it on and made love with it on. I could not bring myself to take it off because it felt like it belonged around my neck.

It became my symbol

My friend Chris had selected this gift for specific reasons. Being dissatisfied with commercial variants, she turned to a friend who was handy with metals. Since she was the first person I ever told the story of my suicide and death to, the gift had great meaning. It was her way of saying that she believed in me.

"You are the personification of ankh."

A couple years later, I was relocating to Orlando, Florida. A month before leaving I met a woman and fell in love with her. I could not stay, I had to leave, and so she asked me for something she could remember me by. Seeking to make a statement about how important she was to me, I gave her the ankh. She was stunned, knowing its value to me, and rejected the gift at first.

Two years later, she gave it back to me. The leather cord had dried. It crumbled at my touch. For two years she had hung it on her wall at the side of her desk to remember me by. Now she needed to let go. When I returned to Orlando I had mixed feelings about the ankh, so I threw it in a drawer. One day, I told myself, I would get a new cord and wear it again. On that day I simply did not feel worthy.

"I finally found you a new cord for your necklace."

My wife works part time in a little shop that sells bracelets and necklaces at a theme park. A couple weeks ago I found the ankh in my drawer and asked if she could find me a brown leather cord so I could wear it again. It had to be like the old cord or it wouldn't look right. Last night she found one and left it for me to find in the morning. It is back around my neck after almost six years.


Even the ankh has its three queens