• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

The Many Shades of Baggage

The girls warned me, in hushed tones and whispers, over coffee, during cards – poker, Blackjack, on each birthday. At every chance. Too much baggage, Girl. You’ve gotta cleanse.
Only, I don’t know how. I’m a collector.
Ceramic mugs – eight and twelve ounces preferred. Comics – mostly Marvel. Sometimes Batman. Classics, too. Snoopy tunes. Stuffed, too. Lucy and Linus know me well. Foreign coins of gold and silver metal. Ball point pens. Inspiration inked in company messaging and four-point font. Unsharpened No. 2 pencils, by the dozen. I stack the colorful wooden cylinders in cups throughout my apartment. On sun-drenched windowsills. Built by hand bookcase shelves. Laminate kitchen counters, too. Pack my closets with fabrics woven of dreams. Patterns that make me think of far-away lands and nearby haunts. Blue gingham bandannas. Red plaid skirts. Cardigans woven of ocean turquoise, sandy beach beige, evergreen forests. Dresser drawers of socks. Hand-rolled and neatly organized. Striped cotton knee-highs.
Fuzzy wools in all colors of the rainbow. Prints, too. Everything from ankle length to thigh-high. Embroidered stances on a world gone wrong. Yellow ducks, expressionless emojis, pinatas bursting of potential. Always believing I should have been born a 100-years prior. Also, a fan of prints. Black and white. Sepia. Abstracts. Walls are made for sharing, I explain. When the girls come for a visit. They protest, no matter. My most recent addition made them laugh. Your soul mate, they tease. The man stands, stoic, amidst his own collection. Five birds in cages. Four, maybe five, dogs on leashes. A basketful of cats, too. If only you were of another time, the girls say.
If only, I reply, and adjust the frame. There, perfect. Picked this one up just yesterday.