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Hole in My Chakra

My husband of nearly thirteen years came home late one night toting his briefcase but missing his wedding band. He told me we were over, in a tone of voice that one might use to say, "I don't want butter on my biscuit today." I think his exact words were, "I'm tired of being married. I'm tired of being a father. I can't do it any more."

Yeah, I thought, and I'm tired of cleaning the house and going to the store. Hmm, the children have been especially hard to handle lately. I think I'll just quit being a mother and not do it any more!

The guy hit forty and went crazy, I reasoned. No surprise. I wasn't entirely happy in this marriage either. Three weeks after the wedding I had written in my diary that it was a mistake. However, I still planned to stick with this arrangement. Yeah, I married him when I was barely twenty and he was a mature twenty-seven, but so what? I stick to what I do. So, he was tired of kids. Let's just go tell the toddlers that Mommy and Daddy cannot take care of them for a week or two, and they'll have to fend for themselves while Mommy and Daddy run off to Hawaii.

Desperate to make Wayne stay, I thought of ways to get his attention. What if I could snag the mid-life crisis man with something irresistible?

I was enrolled in massage school at the time, so the next day at school, I told my friend Paula how Wayne was tired of being married. "I have a plan," I said. "But you need to come with me. I don't think I want to do this alone."

"What are you going to do?"

"Pierce my belly button," I said.

Paula's mouth gaped. Neither of us was into piercing body parts, but several of our classmates wore piercings and I thought they looked classy. In fact, my whole image of body piercing had changed since massage school started, and it no longer freaked me out that people pierced noses or tongues. I began to see body piercing as a form of self-expression.

I would pierce my belly button, win back Wayne, and that would be that. Self-expression in one nice, neat kit.

Paula and I went to a little piercing place on Central Avenue in Albuquerque. As soon as we walked into the shop, I felt as if I had walked into a thick cloud. The energy of the place was overwhelming. A young, redheaded boy who had piercings on his ears and face assured me they adhered to clean procedures.

I nodded and leaned against a black leather table while the boy drew dots on my belly button. After placing each dot with a magic marker, he asked what I thought of it. Finally the boy, Paula, and I agreed on the exact spot to pierce.

"Do it," I said.

I remember a shiny needle about thirty inches long and an inch wide. Something like that. Squeezing Paula's hand, I took in a deep breath, and the boy stuck the needle through me effortlessly. I heard a crunching sound, but it was painless. As I stood up, I admired the appealing amber bead. What an accomplishment. What a form of self-expression.

When Wayne came home that evening, he would admire the bead and tell me how wonderful I looked. I would bring our passion to a new height and he would stay. He didn't really want a divorce.

Wayne was working at the computer when I showed him my amber bead. "Uh, nice," he said in his I-don't-want-butter-on-my-biscuit voice.

"Don't you like it? This cost seventy dollars!"

"Wow," he said and continued typing. "I hope you like it."

I had pierced my belly button for this man and all he could say was "wow"? I stomped to the kitchen, careful not to let my bead touch the top of my shorts.

Wayne was gone within seven days. On the tenth day, I decided that I had had enough of my belly ring.

When I went back to the body piercing shop, the redheaded boy stared. "Removed?" he stammered. "You want it removed?"

"Yes," I said. "You know, take it out."

The boy removed the beautiful bead with a pair of pliers, and I left.

When I got to school and told a few friends about removing my belly ring, a girl named Kelly smiled.

"You should never put a hole in your chakra," Kelly said. "It drains your sexual energy."

"Thanks," I said.

"No problem," she answered. "Maybe you could try a tattoo."

"Maybe," I said. "But I think I'll wait for my chakra to heal."

Copyright © 2002 Katherine Darlington