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THINGS WE CARRY

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THINGS WE CARRY

Cindy Maddera

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This morning I cleaned out my purse in preparation of my upcoming trip. It wasn't bad really, mostly just random bits of receipts and various business cards. The ribbon is from our last cookie tray at lab meeting. The cookies come from a local bakery and they always tie up the cellophane wrapping with a pretty ribbon. I pretty much always take the ribbon, unless it's a color I just don't like. The ribbon will eventually end up on a present. All the ribbons that tied little toys onto the birthday advent cards I sent Talaura are cookie ribbons. The colored strings are friendship bracelets Cati made for me and Chris. The orange one is Chris's. I had given her a friendship making kit for her birthday or Christmas (I can't remember) and those are the fruits of her labor. They've been in my purse all this time partly because I forgot and partly because I was planning to have someone help me tie one onto my wrist. I don't know why there's a clothespin in my bag.

In the front pocket, mixed with the five tubes of lip balm that never seem to make it onto my lips, I found a rock, a seashell and my badge from the Met. The day Talaura and I went to Fire Island, I did what I always do at a beach. I picked up shells and rocks. After we trekked all over the island, we stopped in to visit with her friends and I set all my sea treasures down and forgot about them. It wasn't until we were on the train back home that I realized I'd left them behind. I pouted for a minute and moved on. But apparently this one rock and seashell made it's way into my bag that day. I think it's because they were the first things I picked up and I still had my bag looped over my shoulder. Which means they are the first impression of that day.

The badge from the Met is actually my ticket into the museum. Every day is a different color. I wonder if colors repeat. If it was another green badge day, could I wear my badge and sneak into the museum for free? I think if I lived in NY, I'd have a bowl of Met badges. These are the things that collect in my bag while I'm traveling, and these are the things that take the longest to be cleaned out. I like to think of it as carrying around the good memories. I wonder what will collect in my bag during my travels to Atlanta. I'm sure it will be more good memories to carry around with me for a while.