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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

Eternally, Me

I’ve written before about the upside of long-term ditziness (mostly having to do with the silver-lining aspect of it not being a new, and therefore alarming, downturn in intellectual function.)

I'm glad I have these documents to refer to. They are a comfort.

The other day I got back inside from a brisk (because it was so freaking cold, not for any cardiac benefit) walk and removed the shades from my face—and was confused by the fact that it was still quite dim.

I put my hand back up to my eyes and found another pair. Think: The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins.

I asked my supportive spouse why he didn't mention the duplicate accessory during our thirty minutes together. Keith said he thought I did it on purpose,


Then, disproving his own point, he reminded me of the time he took me shopping for my birthday and I came out of the dressing room to model an ensemble—wearing shoes that didn’t match.

From home.

In that moment I have to admit I was a little perturbed by my fashion faux pas. You know, cognitively speaking. But then I pieced it together and was fine. For weeks I'd been revising my manuscript at the kitchen table, slipping off whatever kicks I happened to be wearing, beneath it.

I had quite the collection under there and obviously just slid my feet (blindly) into whatever comfortable pumps were on hand, then grabbed my purse and joined my husband for the errand.

Mystery solved.

Anxiety averted.

Keith also likes to tell the story of going through the airport TSA line with me (regaling anyone who will listen) about how the airport officer opened my purse with a judgey look of distaste, then put a protective glove on like he was being forced to dig something out of a clogged drain.


And one of my daughters talks, ad nauseum, about the time I offered her a rarely used briefcase. Apparently it still held important papers: about a hundred loose yellow Splendas. She claims that when I die my survivors will box up my belongings and carbon date the periods of my life by the color of artificial sweeteners secreted inside.

(Archaeological key: 1970s Pink, 1980s Blue, 1990s Yellow, Afterwards: Green.)

The other evening a friend from high school reached out on Facebook. We had a funny catch up which included reminiscing about the chaperone-less trip to Daytona Beach a group of us took. In eleventh grade.

(It was a different time.)

I even took my SATs down there, staying overnight in a motel instead of the tent at the campground so I’d be rested for the test.

(It didn’t help.)

Anyway, Lizzie sent me a picture of my vomiting suitcase, She was so awe-struck she’s held onto photographic proof.

For forty-five years.

And just yesterday I noticed that the pockets in my coat were kind of snug so I decided to clean them out. I found my house keys (of course) two hot wheels (also, of course), hand sanitizer, a face mask, a plastic bag, a paint brush (?), four gloves (three black, one blue,) reams of Kleenex, one piece of really good bubble gum, and a pack of Stevia, green.

Disregard dog tail. My pockets aren't deep enough to accommodate him.

With 148, 883 Gmail messages, I acknowledge I might even have a teeny virtual collecting problem, too. At sixty-one, all I can say is I may not be organized but at least I’m consistent.


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