Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

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, decline.) And I’m glad that I’ve documented it.

The other day I got back inside from a brisk (because it was so freaking cold, not for any exercise benefit) stroll and removed the shades from my face—and was confused that it was still quite dark. I put my hand back up and found another pair. Think: The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins.

I asked my supportive spouse why he didn’t think to mention the double accessories during our thirty minute walk together. He 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. I always slipped off whatever pair I happened to be wearing under the table where I was revising my manuscript.

(This was pre-permanent move to the couch.)

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

Mystery solved.

Anxiety averted.

My husband also likes to tell the story of going through the TSA line with me and the officer putting a protective covering on his hand before inserting it in my purse. (Rude.) And one of my daughters likes to talk, ad nauseum, about the time I gave her a rarely used briefcase. Apparently it still held important papers: about a hundred yellow Splendas. She claims when I die my survivors will go through 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 our group of friends who took a chaperone-less trip to Daytona Beach 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.

Yesterday I noticed that the pockets in my coat were kind of snug and 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.

Crazy collection of accoutrements
Disregard dog’s tail. My pocket isn’t deep enough to accommodate a large pet.


At sixty-one, all I can say is I may not be neat but at least I’m consistent.

Erika Raskin
Erika Raskin is the fiction editor of Streetlight Magazine. She can be found at

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