In the first month of 10th grade I started wearing a pink rubber bracelet on my left arm. It was originally owned by an acquaintance. A new acquaintance! A female new acquaintance!!! That period saw me discover the magical power of getting to know people I didn't know before - who weren’t in my class or MTG meetings.
I wore it daily, taking it off only at night, for more than a decade, until it finally tore.
For me it symbolized a sort of power - that I am able to withstand the judging looks a guy with a pink bracelet gets, that I can live differently, better, that I’m stronger than I originally thought - that life can be brighter than it was. Not completely blind optimism, but a sign of belief in myself. Not exactly youthful innocence, but a feeling of ramping up gradient - in most aspects of life.
A few months ago I decided to try and wear bracelets as an accessory. I bought several online, which were all too big, but while organizing my room I found black leather strips - like mini belts - that came with my frequent flyer card when they upgraded my “flyer class” due to traveled miles accumulation. In past years I flew so much (almost all for work), that I got these status cards that business people have :). For a second I could get confused and think that I was one myself…
And they fit my wrist great. Black, leather-looking, but simple, solid.
Perhaps a black leather bracelet is a better representation of a source of power for the current Michael. Who was in the crapper, lived in the crapper, who made a fucking home in the fucking sewers. Who climbed up not through belief - but via stubbornness. Changed almost by decree. Who is spitting blood but forcing forward. Who remembers not the past success but past horror - drawing strength from “this is nothing” (in comparison).
And what better example could there be to represent it than the first time I wore it: the Hellnight