Sunday, January 14, 2007

Handcuffs and History

I love friends. I currently have a friend traveling in Canada but coming back to Korea shortly enough. He asks me "anything you need?"

My first thought was, probably not. My second thought was, yes, why there is one thing I could use. This is also what I wanted for my birthday, but unfortunately I didn't get it. What is the mystery prize, the thing I need? Keys. Keys for my handcuffs.

See, okay, I haven't had a pair of handcuffs since moving to
Korea. I loved my cuffs. Maybe you think I'm nuts, fine, I don't care. I loved my handcuffs. They had lots of history and I liked them. I used to wear them as jewelry. I liked the heaviness, the weight on my arm when I would wear them. I liked the shocked looks of observers who would notice my cuffs. It amused me to wear them as much as it often amused others to see them.

Did I use them for other things? Well, I once locked a very nice red haired boy to a chair in the coffee shop and made him sit while he was fed coffee beans for about an hour and then let him go. Does that count as used? It was fun. And trust me he was far to wound up upon release to think much of complaining.

Simple times called for a simple pair of universal handcuffs. Happier times. I think of all the wrists my old pair of handcuffs graced at some point or another and I smile. There was a history there, written in the cold metal clapped around someone
's arm; a history in which those who participated could say with a feeling of certainty that successful abandonment of societal mores had been achieved. There was freedom in those chains, simple, certain, pure freedom.

I realized how much I missed those cuffs so I got a new pair. They are new, only clapped around my wrists so far and only once. But then in my foolishness I put the keys on my key chain and then had my keychain abruptly stolen. It made me sad. Handcuffs, I suppose, are like home. You can go back, you can try to recreate, but it will never be quite the same.

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