March 4, 2005
I like to have things.
Okay, so Iím not actually trying to do the 50 Book Thing that everyone else is doing this year, but I am trying to read more. And, after several literary masterpieces, Iíve decided to cleanse my palate with some good olífashioned exploits from Ayla and the Cave Peeps by hauling Jean Auelís fifth-in-the-series around with me to dentist appointments and such. Itís very quick reading, because I skip all the landscape descriptions and sex scenes. My favorite parts are the gossipy interpersonal interfacings of the cave people, and the descriptions of their most prized things.
Ayla has a pair of near-matching amber stones. Jondular has some well-shaped hunks of flint. Marthona has an aurochs intestine blood-splattered with pictures of running deer. Lafawnda has an antelope horn that looks sort of like Hello Kitty.
Just kidding. But still. I like reading about those scavenging, bargain-shopping cave people and the material possessions they value, because it gives me a greater appreciation for my own hard-won things.
This morning, walking through the parking garage, I felt positively rich.
I carried the small, black leather notepad holder my boyfriend gave me for Christmas. It felt soft in my hand. I thought of its contents - the Uniball Roller pen and Relax Bear paper inscribed with important notes - and felt a warm glow inside.
The pink purse with silver chains and studs shed its lining long ago, but I still love it. I remember the day I found it on Harwin after hunting through similar, less-attractive prey in purple and green.
My brown leather shoes Ė such a bargain. They used to hurt, but numerous travels have broken them in. Now they fit like a comfortable glove. Unfortunately, the dark brown socks I bought to serve as their companions have disappeared in the Laundryroom Netherworld. But thatís okay. Some day, if I sacrifice enough black socks on the sacred lint-screen altar, the brown ones might be returned to me.
On my key ring, I have two fetish charms - a tiny plastic Relax Bear and a smiling dumpling suspended in transparent orange film. I often run my fingers over these to draw from their soothing life-force before pressing the button that sends an electronic war cry to my car.
At my neck I wear a silver dragonfly pendant with faux topaz stones specially chosen to match my hair. This amulet, given to me by my boyfriend, protects me from hater-ade fumes and lingering spirits that may have escaped the carpal-tunnel-suffering secretaries who used to work here long ago.
Shh... No, just kidding. Not Calm down, longtime Gwen's-hair watchers and pundits.
Lastly, in my left hand is a paper chalice inscribed with intricate symbols Ė symbols of one of the most powerful coffee-serving franchise-tribes in the ancient Land of the Montrose. Within this cup I carry the same sacred concoction imbibed by my Aztec ancestors centuries ago. (Except that mine also has steamed milk and two packets of Splenda.)
Thus, I am properly arrayed to face my day. Whether it involves hunting bargains, fleeing from woolly, mammoth elevator riders, or just the holy rituals of the Great Cycle of Insurance Policy Renewal, I will be ready.