Friday, May 30, 2003

The End of Another Era

I did the exact opposite of what Forrest did, I guess.

A couple years back, I went to New Orleans with all my friends during Spring Break. We sucked down frozen drinks with abandon, revelling in all the debauchery The Big Easy had to offer. We strolled the pink-cottage-laden steets lacy with flowering trees, ran our fingers over the gaslights, and never wanted to leave. I got my navel pierced on the last night we were there. It was supposed to be me and my friend Sarah doing it together, but she chickened out at the last minute. I sprawled in the dentist chair alone and watched the bearded, tattooed guy carefully unwrap his sterile implements; holding them as gingerly as a surgeon holding a scalpel. "It won't hurt" he said; and clamped off pieces of flesh. It didn't.

Ahh, the euphoria of a new piercing. High on endorphins for the rest of the night, I led my group through a seedy neighborhood in search of the place that supposedly had the "best" jambalaya. We found it at last, after several wrong turns; and had steaming bowls heaped with shrimp, sausage, chicken, and rice foisted upon us by a rotund, head-scarved black woman who called us all "sugah". God, it was fucking good stuff.

Then we hit bourbon street. There's more than one picture of me showing someone my piercing, sometimes with a tiny trickle of blood escaping. That happens with a new piercing, especially a navel piercing, they say. So I was unconcerned, and gaily showed off my mostly-flat stomach, my milky white skin; my naughty little secret.

When we got back to Cleveland, I became piercing-obsessed. I was ready to do the nipples, the tongue, and *ahem* "other" areas. I was in love with the cold steel feeling of something sharp being forced through me. In fact, the only reason I didn't get my tongue pierced was that I read something saying that I should avoid oral sex for some time afterwards. What? Me avoid oral sex?!? What's the point of being a pierced sex goddess if you have to avoid such things?!? I ended up being content with just the navel "for now". I spent the summer in little halter tops and low-rise pants, making sure everyone could see my body jewelery.

But, it never really healed. It was always just a little icky. And then I met Sean, and Sean hated it. Well, maybe "hated" is a strong word. But he spent a good deal of time asking me if it was "infected", or "Ok". No and yes, respectively.

Now, it's gotten to the point where it's just plain in the way. My stomach is no longer even mostly-flat; which is not a good thing; but is getting less and less comfortable with the belly ring. And it pulls on my pants all the time and annoys me.

I finally did it today. Armed with a pair of pliers, I unscrewed the banana bell and pulled it out. Afterwards, I stared blankly at my navel for a few minutes. It seemed empty, forlorn, plain. Non-sex-goddess-like. It was kind of a downer.

So, here I am. Back to being one of the non-pierced. I feel more square already. *sigh*

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