Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Medallion

People who know me know I have a constant article on at all times. I change shirts, pants, underwear, and even, on occasion, my hair. But for what must have been almost half a decade, I have never removed my medallion. This medallion, a cheap tin trinket with the kanji for Tiger that isn't worth the 25¢ I paid for it is probably the most precocious thing I own.

I bought at a toy dispenser you see in restaurants and grocery stores. I'm not sure why I found it so fascinating. Maybe because I was born on the year of the tiger and tiger are one of my favorite animals. Maybe because it was dispensing Dragon trinkets and thus I considered it some sign that I got that instead. And come to think of it, when I first got it, it sat in a bowl in my closet for a few months. But eventually, I put it on. It was, again, of cheap construction, and the clasp mechanism was so annoying, that I eventually just kept wearing it at all times. I wore it in the shower, when I worked, and even when I slept.

And as a result, it's become a part of me. After a year or two, the chain loop fell apart and after some failed attempts at preserving it myself, I took it to a jeweler to properly protect it. This shot it's overall value from 25¢ to $300. That's how important this is to me. Still, I was broke, and so the best I could, after he put it on a frame and new chain, was to have the backing of it lacquered with nail polish.

That must have been eight years ago, and I've been wearing it pretty much ever since. But the years have caught up with me. The lacquer is gone and the symbol is starting to appear on the back. Not a good sign.

Hence, I have done something that fills me with dread. I took off my medallion and now am looking to protect it further. With this, I hope to don my medallion again and wear it with pride for a decade at a time.

To anime fans, I sometimes describe this as my Strawhat, referencing the popular story of One Piece. For the uninitiated, the main character in One Piece wears a simple Straw hat, a gift from a friend that he now protects as his most sacred treasure. I remember also being part of a discussion on a forum where I asked other if they too treasured something that was otherwise worthless. There were some interesting responses.
As of now, I'm looking to repair and seal the damage on my own. But this requires me to take it off for some amount of time. Some people don't notice when I wear it or don't, but until I repair it, I will be feeling quite naked as I walk about in public. It is my hope to fix this as soon as possible.

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