It's 4:30, and I'm heading over to my last lesson of the day. I squeeze onto the crowded metro car and find myself near two 20ish girls chatting wildly about their jobs, apartments, various likes and dislikes. They were carrying on much like I would have at that age. One of the girls held the pole next to me and gave me a chance to look at her 100 percent tatooed arm. It was beautiful work. And that's saying alot because I'm not much of a tatoo admirer. But this was artistry, crisp clean lines and brilliant splashes of color, while being wholly unique. Definitely the work of a talented person. When I finished my tatoo study, my attention wandered up to the chattering faces of these girls, festooned as they were with assorted rings about the lips, eyes and nose. Just as we were arriving at the station where I needed to change trains, I noticed her large hoop earring. I started to exit the train and then did a double take. Wait a minute, something's odd about that earring. The girls were exiting too as I realized that the giant hoop earring was inside her pierced ear. Thus, the skin of her lobe was stretched all the way around it. Isn't that some African tribal thing? I've seen some guys with dime sized plugs in their ears around town, but nothing of this magnitude. This was fifty cent piece size, (bigger than a toonie for my Canadian friends.)
"Excuse me, can I ask you a question?" I unexpectedly blurt out to the freak ear girl.
I catch the friend rolling her eyes out of the corner of my eye, but freak ear says,
"How long did it take you to get your ear hole that big?" (How do you ask that without it sounding nasty?)
"Oh, well I'm not a really good stretcher you know, I mean, like it takes me longer than most people. But anyway, probly like, what, like two and a half years or something."
"Wow, that takes a lot of dedication. Does it hurt each time you go to a larger size?"
"Well, yah. (said as though any idiot should know that) For me it's like two and a half months before I can go up a size. But it hurts really bad the first few days."
"Ok thanks, that's really cool" I said and then added,
"Oh, wait, one more thing, do you think I could take a picture of it?"
There was some hesitation, a little looking at the floor, a furtive but pleading glance to her friend. So I quickly said,
"Right, too creepy, nevermind."
And then I scurried over to the next car of the arriving train, so they wouldn't have to be with the weirdo who wants to take a picture of an ear in the metro station.