Pocket Cleaning

Chantal reached into her coat pocket, closed her fist, and pulled everything out. She emptied her hand onto the floor in front of her, reached back in the pocket, and finished the clearing.

A tube of lip balm, ever useful. Good for dealing with the dry winter days, the dry spring days, the parching summer days. Especially useful for dates with Jaime. She set it to the side to keep.

Some loose change. Why it was floating in her pocket rather her purse, she wasn’t sure. Probably from the grocery store, where she had been in a rush, and that rude old man behind her had started complaining about how her “kind” were slow everywhere, on the roads, in school, in lines at the grocery store, and she had grabbed the change and hurried out rather than yelling about his “kind” because she was embarrassed and running late. She grabbed her purse and tossed the change in with the rest of the weight.

A business card, from a guy who tried to hit on her while she grabbed a coffee before work. She tossed it at the recycling bin, missed, had to rise and crawl over and drop it in. An undignified crawling in her dress, but no one was around, so it didn’t matter.

A half dozen transfers from the subway, the things that were ever collecting in her pockets, building up until she grabbed them and threw them out. She crawled back over to the recycling bin and dropped them in.

A note from Jaime, expressing sweet thoughts for her to carry through the day. This, Chantal returned to the pocket after reading it again, as she did every day or two when she remembered it was there. It was kind, loving without being too serious just yet – only eight months in to the relationship, one couldn’t get too serious. Or, they could, and Chantal would, but didn’t want to seem needy, pushy, scare Jaime off. But she was delighted by this note every time she read it, and it was getting a bit ragged from a month of being pushed in and pulled out of the pocket. She would need to prompt Jaime for another at some point.

The pocket clean, Chantal stood and removed the coat, hung it on the coat rack, and went to her bedroom to change out of her work clothes, another day complete.


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