My life is in my pocketbook. There’s not enough to fill up a purse. My insurance card tells the clinic it is ok to see me, they’ll get a paycheck even if I am broke. My social security card tells the IRS I am a real person, a citizen of a country that counts its people like produce. My driver’s license tells the clerk behind the counter that I’m old enough to slowly kill my liver. The thousands of plastic cards with my name etched on the face hold me prisoner each time I signed away my life. The receipts are reminders of where I’ve been and what I’ve bought, though depressing when I record it in my checkbook. I have appointment cards for times long past and many more for the future. A measly dollar bill and a few coins are all I have to my name. I hold on to business cards from every place I go: doctors’ offices, specialty shops, bakeries, quickie-lubes. I keep a few memorable items in my stash: a ticket stub to see lion king alone, an old photograph of Bill worn around the edges from being handled too much, and a heart-shaped stone my sister found on the river bank when she was 5. Each item holds a story, my story. What I love, what I hate, what is most precious to me. There’s not enough to fill a purse, but there’s enough to show who I am. My life is in my pocketbook. My pocketbook is my life.


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