Somewhere I had laid down my purse and now I could not find it. This day was not unlike most other days. I was always picking things up, putting things down and basically wandering around in a general daze oblivious to the world around me. Whether from a drug-induced fog or being hyperfocused on the thought of the moment, I was destined to lose something everyday on campus. The security guards were starting to become familiar with my misplaced wallet and keys. I was always blessed by being on a campus full of artists who would return my misplaced items to the security office and never steal a thing out of them. Following my usual procedure, I searched the park benches near the ceramics and photography studios and made my way to the security office. This time, my purse was not there. Frantically, I made a bee line for my apartment across the street. Luckily, my roommate was home and let me into the apartment. I scrambled up the steps to my room and found my purse laying there on the bed. I know I had brought my purse to class with me that morning so was quite unsure how it got there.
"Megan, did you find my purse at school?" I asked my roommate.
"No, why, is it missing again?" she replied as she cleaned off her drafting table.
"Yes, but I just found it on my bed and I know I had it earlier this morning."
"I've been here all morning and no one has been here so maybe you just thought you brought it with you," she answered as she prepared her gauche for her assignment.
"Maybe..." I left Megan to work on her project and returned to my room. I was almost certain I had brought my purse to campus with me because I had used my checkbook to write out a check for some new paint brushes in the school store. I opened my purse and pulled out my checkbook. The carbon copy for the check I wrote was neatly inside.
Perplexed, I shrugged and got my things together for my next class, deciding it might be best to leave my purse at home this time around.
I walked over to the administration building and up the fire escape stairs into the painting studio. Since I was early for class, no one was there yet. I found an easel and put my painting of the torso of a naked woman on it. As I moved my easel to my favorite part of the studio, I stumbled over something and almost knocked down the easel next to mine. I looked down and there was my purse, the one I had left at home, sitting on the floor. I froze and looked around. No one else was in the studio with me. Was this some sort of joke? Was I losing my mind? What the hell, was my purse possessed? Is it possible for a purse to be possessed? Carefully, I tiptoed past the purse.
"What are you doing, D?" asked my friend Barry as he walked in.
"Nothing," I shifted my eyes away from his but kept my distance from the purse.
"Hey, isn't this your purse under my easel?" he asked. "Here, you don't want to lose it."
I practically jumped a foot off the ground when he tossed it over to me.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked as he set up his palette and paint brushes.
"Nothing, really. I'll be back in a couple minutes." I said as I left the studio with my purse in hand.
I raced down those steps as fast as I could and ran to the wood kiln on the edge of campus. No one else was around because it wasn't in use. I flopped onto the grass and emptied the contents of my purse onto the ground. Wallet, lipstick, chapstick, eyeliner, two dollars, some change, a locket, and my school id. Wait a minute, a locket? I did not own a locket. I hesitated. Should I open the locket? Did I want to know what was inside? Carefully, I opened it up and it revealed a small photo of my twin sister when she was 3. I dropped it. I hadn't seen my sister for two years since she ran away after yet another argument with our stepfather. What did this mean? I uttered some words to God for her for protection and peace and lay down on the grass letting the sun filter through my half-closed eyes. I thought about the last time I had seen her and imagined her laying next to me in the grass the way we used to do when we were teens. We would lay there all day talking about boys and making grand plans for the future. I was going to be a fashion designer and she was going to be a rock star. I had toughed it out at home with our abusive step-father, she had left in our junior year of highschool. I was pursuing my dream. I had no idea if she was pursuing hers but had always hoped that she was. As I lay there, I drifted off into that odd place between sleep and wakefulness. My sister was standing before me apologizing and crying. I told her everything was OK. I loved her. She held out her arms to me and I held out mine to her. At that moment, I opened my eyes and the vision of her was gone. I knew in my heart that she had left this earth as well and I wept.