Back for part two of this prompt: writing about something you misplaced using only the passive voice.
I have to admit that this was a bit of a challenge – I’m not used to using the passive voice and pride myself on never using it. I was taught that the passive voice is weak, as its name suggests, and it makes your writing look weak and uses up too many words.
Like a lot of things we learn from professional writers and teachers, there is no hard and fast rule to the passive voice, and I’ve found that sometimes I’m not too turned off by it when I come across it (case in point, this sentence). There could be an instance where a character is or is narrating a passive scene or are themselves a passive background character, so using the passive voice here wouldn’t be the end of the world. I had just as much of a challenge last week while writing only in the active voice; I had to catch myself and double check whether a sentence was sneaking in the passive voice, and edit accordingly.
Besides being a challenge, I found this as an opportunity to read less like an editor sometimes and just read like a reader. It sometimes takes me more than one reading to step into these roles, but I need to remind myself that just as I’d like for someone to be kind to my work, I need to be kind to someone else’s, and to not be such a hardass about the passive voice. After all, there are some people who are very offended when they read a sentence that starts with “and” or “but,” and I don’t think twice about doing that!
There’s a foot for every shoe. Or, rather, there’s a ring for every finger…
I am dropped and now I am bounced across a train that is taken by her on every work day – except when the gym is paid a visit. I am bounced on the train floor and the sound is questioned by passengers not lost in the music or books carried to pass the commuting time. I am rolled under seats, between legs and around bags, until I am stopped behind a seat leg.
She has been seen by me through three graduations, at least five moves and a few boys and, most recently, guys.
I was given to her at 15 as a gift and I was so treasured for having the birthstone of April, the month her father was born. She was teased for my fitting perfectly on her left thumb but on none of her other fingers.
Her emotional milestones were watched from my perch on her finger, and I was removed at security during her many travels. She was accompanied by me on so many travels, so many train rides, so many commutes by car, foot and train.
And now I am dropped. And I will be forgotten and abandoned, because while I will be thought about for a day or two, as with the other rings lost over the years, I will be forgotten and thought about fondly down the line sparingly. Her brain, memories and feelings will be filled up with more important things, just like the same finger that was occupied by me will be occupied by another ring some day.
Rings have been her staple for years. Before I came along, her fingers were populated by cheap jewelry, the kind that her skin was stained green with after a few weeks. Before her finger was habited by me, her wrists were full of bracelets, but bracelets never kept her attention or fondness for a long time.
People she was misunderstood by, people she was disliked by or people she was admired by would marvel at how her fingers were adorned. Wondered how long her morning was extended if her fingers needed to be dressed too. These comments were often seen as an imposition by her, a testament to how little she was known by these people.
When the train is covered in darkness at the end of the day, I am grabbed by a gloved hand and shoved into a pocket. Covered again in darkness and jostled, I am assaulted by fear at where my story will take me. No doubt there is another finger waiting to be adorned and dressed by my shiny and silver offering. As much as she will be missed, it is my purpose to adorn, not to care. There is another job to be had, another person to accompany for as long as I am wanted and needed.
I am carried inside this pocket for a while, before ending up in a clear bag with writing on it. I am left on a shelf for a few weeks before being given as a gift to another woman. And so my story is begun anew.
I know I will be missed. The sadness was evident on her face as I was dropped. So was the indecision: walking away or saving? She was accompanied by me for long enough – she could be released. She is evaded by readiness and preparedness as she is left behind, but her choices are limited. It was time. Time for a new story to be started for her too.