I lost my diamond the other day, the only diamond I’ve ever owned. It was in the engagement ring I wore for the past 10 years, and I never thought it would come out. I’d quite authoritatively lectured other women on how keep and care for their diamonds. New brides or the newly-engaged, I gave them all the same advice: Never take it off. You’ll just lose it. Sleep with it on, shower with it on, leave it on when you wash your hands. When you brush your teeth, give it a brush too. It’s the world’s hardest substance – you won’t hurt it.

Then one day, I looked down, and my diamond was just gone. The ring was still there, but one prong was broken, and another bent up at an odd angle.

I never found it again. Intense vacuuming of hidden crevices of the couch yielded nothing, nor did a blacklight search of the two bars I’d visited that day, nor obsessive eyeballing of every sidewalk I’d walked on. The car didn’t have it, nor the bed, or the shower, or the house itself.

My diamond had gone on walkabout.

Since I don’t know where in the universe my diamond has gotten to, I decided to imagine its fate.

I imagined that while trying to save $5 on 3 boxes of canned cat food at Costco, I’d tried to carry more than I should, and that’s when I damaged the prongs on my engagement ring. Foolish, I know. But the diamond didn’t leave just then. It had just begun to understand the possibilities of flight, and it waited, though somewhat loose in its setting.

Then while I was holding hands with my husband as we sat on a charter bus that ran between bars during a friend’s birthday pub crawl, my diamond jerked loose and fell to freedom. It immediately regretted this happenstance, as the floor of that bus was sticky and black with dirt. But with no legs, it couldn’t very well jump back into my ring. It sat there glinting, hoping I’d notice and rescue it. I didn’t.

About an hour later, long after I’d left the bus, another rider happened to tread on my diamond, and it embedded itself in the sole of her purple Converse All-Stars. After making a tour of a few craft beer bars in San Diego, the woman took her shoes off at home, and the diamond lived for a time in her closet, still stuck to the bottom of her shoe.

The next weekend, the woman wore her purple Cons for a stroll on the Embarcadero, and the diamond managed to work itself loose. It fell on the sidewalk there, sparkling in the bright sunlight.

Rescue and a new owner were not yet in the cards, though. Within a few minutes, the diamond was run over by a dolly carting boxes of bananas, and became embedded in its tire. Through much bouncing over gangways, ramps, and thresholds, the diamond actually bounced free, only to end up stuck deep in the stem of a banana.

All went dark for my poor diamond. This banana’s box was loaded to a container, the kind you see all the time being hauled by semi trucks, and the container was craned onto a massive Dole container ship.

The ship got under way and sailed out of San Diego harbor on a Tuesday. The diamond wouldn’t know it, but the ship would sail down the east coast of Mexico, past most of Central America, through the Panama Canal, across the Caribbean Sea and the South Atlantic, down the east coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the pirate-infested coast of Somalia, through the Arabian Sea. It finally landed at Mumbai.

The box of bananas with my diamond in it was then transferred to a rickety, dusty truck with inadequate brakes which drove it helter-skelter to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, one of the oldest and most sacred Hindu sites in India. (Why they’d need bananas from the U.S. there, I don’t know. Seems like India has enough jungle to grow their own bananas…but I digress.)

Anyhow, the diamond was well embedded in the stem of this swiftly-ripening banana, so when it was placed in a basket on display at a Varanasi fruit shop, no one noticed it.

A young acolyte of a local but much-respected guru bought the banana, knowing his master had a potassium deficiency and would enjoy it for his breakfast.

When the guru peeled the banana, my diamond popped right into his palm, as if eager to end its long voyage.

Now, this was no ordinary guru, who would have been astounded to find a diamond in a banana. This was a very intuitive guru, who sensed that while this was not a large diamond, it was very special. He noted its visible flaw, a black spot deep in the stone. He gazed at it calmly, and it occurred to him (somehow, in that mysterious way gurus have) that this diamond was much loved by someone. He also recognized that if diamonds could have feelings, this one might be a bit stressed out.

He knew exactly what to do.

He picked up a brass tray he happened to have handy and held it before his face like a mirror. He looked at the small divot between his eyes that he’d had since a childhood bout with the pox. He noted it was exactly the same size and shape as the pointy side of the diamond.

He slipped the diamond into that divot, and magically (in the way that precious stones tend to behave with talented gurus) it stayed there from that day forward. The guru could sleep with it in, shower with it in, wash his face with it in, and nothing hurt it. When he brushed his teeth, he gave it a brush, too. He sensed that the diamond was used to this treatment and felt quite at home.

And from that day forward, people remarked that this guru’s prophecies increased in accuracy by at least 37%.

At least, that’s what I’d like to think happened.

“Nobody knows where you are / How near or how far.”
– Pink Floyd, Shine On You Crazy Diamond