Holes in my head by
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When I first saw this Retro prompt, a David Sedaris essay* came to mind. Here, Sedaris laments the lack of worthwhile accessories for men. “[Accessories” for men aren’t nearly as interesting as women’s,” he writes. “I have no use for cuff links or suspenders, and while I’ll occasionally pick up a new tie, it hardly leaves me feeling ‘kicky.'”

I hear you, David. I don’t wear a ring, my belts hold up my pants, and despite the fact that I live in hipsterville, I’m not printed with tattoos. Tattoos seem so permanent. I do have holes, or the ghosts of holes in my left ear, five of them, each hole created to celebrate a new summer solstice, all pierced by a friend with a big needle, a cork, and a bottle of tequila that served double duty as anesthesia and antiseptic.

In the five holes I wore, at various times, a silver-crowned post of Navajo coral, a goofy silver foot, a red-enameled star, odd-sized gold rings, and the delicate toe-bone of a fox, carefully drilled and pierced by a silver hoop.

One by one, the rings and posts have disappeared and the upper holes in my cartilage have closed, but I still wear the goofy foot on certain occasions in the meaty part of my left ear lobe. Occasionally, life can be so simple.

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*Here’s the above-mentioned David Sedaris essay, “With a Pal like this, you don’t need an Enemy.

Profile photo of Charles Degelman Charles Degelman
Writer, editor, and educator based in Los Angeles. He's also played a lot of music. Degelman teaches writing at California State University, Los Angeles. 

Degelman lives in the hills of Hollywood with his companion on the road of life, four cats, assorted dogs, and a coterie of communard brothers and sisters.

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Characterizations: right on!

Comments

  1. Suzy says:

    This picture of you is wonderful, Charlie, looking soulful and hugging your bass guitar. I can only see two piercings, I guess the rest are covered by your hair. What a great tradition to celebrate the summer solstice! And the various earrings you describe sound lovely. You should post a picture of you now, wearing the goofy foot, at the end of the story.

  2. John Zussman says:

    Your accessory story is short yet full of detail and punch, like the bottle of tequila that serves as both anesthesia and antiseptic. And I just realized that’s you in the picture! The earring only accentuates your “soulful musician” look.

    Thanks also for the link to the Sedaris video — it really did have me laughing out loud.

    • Thanks, John. I use the Sedaris video (actually a short essay in Me Talk Pretty One Day) as an example of the power of topic description. Most students haven’t seen a Stadium Pal but, by the time Sedaris describes it, they have a pretty good idea of what it looks like and how it works. And we all get a good laugh.

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Charlie, this is perfect. Of course men wear earrings, and as you point out, some more than others. I do love your details…all of them! And distain for other men’s accessories. You have answered the prompt beautifully, as only you could. Great photo too!

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