It's spring and I'm spending a few days with friends who have day jobs. They leave a key for me, and I leave little “girl touches,” as my friend said (they are men): cherry lip balm, a tiny bottle of talcum powder, tulips. I like it, my friend says.
I carry certain things with me always:
A black leather man's wallet. I hate girl wallets. They are big and ridiculous. I don't need a separate pocket for lipstick. I want something slim enough to slip into my pocket. Unfortunately for my wallet, also in my wallet are ID's and library cards from four schools and five states and grocery store discount cards and business cards from questionable men and fortunes from cookies.
A scarf of the black, natty variety.
Perfume which is not really perfume, which is a common ingredient for baking, in a vial.
My good luck bracelet.
Ear plugs in a tiny plastic case that says pardon? Here's why.
My cell phone. It is very old and has been dropped many times and shorted out twice, once when I cried into it outside in a rainstorm.
Keys on a bare silver ring.
A jump drive on a lanyard, which contains a copy of my novel manuscript, my poetry manuscript, and other things.
Lipstick. Okay, I admit it. I don't always wear it, but it's good to be prepared. I can go from beach or park to dinner in five seconds flat.
My digital camera with its always, almost-full memory card. I can't stop taking pictures of signs.
Black elastic hair bands.
Fortunately I have the kind of hair you don't have to brush. Wind makes it better, I realized as a twelve year-old on the trampoline. Fortunately I have the kind of face with regard to makeup you don't have to try, Liz said to me in high school. I still don't know what that meant. Liz, in her boyfriend's letter jacket, once said something truly horrible in choir practice and my friend Catherine turned around and made a hissing sound to her and curled her hands like cat claws.
Also these days: Ed, my computer, in his silver, padded “condom.”
Also these days: A hard copy of my novel manuscript, bound in plastic, and bearing red scratch marks (mine) at nearly every line.
Also these days. Also.