on airplanes: eighteen hundred and ninety seven. In hotel rooms: Sixteen hundred and sixteen things. On bus benches, trains, and other stations of public transit: ten thousand and fifty-two. These things include:
A fur-collared, cinch-waisted jacket with four coffee stains and three red-wine stains on its cuffs and hem.
An almost-full journal stuffed with lust-poems written on pieces of order-pad from Pannikin Coffee Shop and Café in Point Loma, San Diego.
Forty-seven pairs of underpants in assorted colors, fabrics, and styles including: bikini, boy-short, crotchless, tap-pant, and thong.
A red leather jacket with cigarette-burned lining and no buttons.
A three-pound bag of tangerines.
Fourteen packages of chewing gum.
A Thrifty Drugs Brand disposable flash camera containing exposures that, if developed, would undoubtedly be illegal to possess in Texas.
Three pairs of prescription eyeglasses in unflattering, sale-priced plastic frames.
A porcelain doll (named: Amelia) in a blue-lace dress
Two hundred and seventy-nine novels, poetry collections, feminist anthologies, vegetarian cookbooks, algebra workbooks, history texts and science lab guides.
One Revlon Cocoa Disco lipstick.
Four hundred and eight rhinestone-stud earrings.
Seven hundred and nine dollars and twenty-two cents.
A drawing of a pink brontosaurus by Lily O’Malley, age five and a half.
An electric popcorn popper.
One almost-full tube of Loreal Sublime Bronze Cream.
Nine hundred and two hairpins.
A green post-it on which was written my brother’s new address.
This is of course not including items lost at dinner parties and dance clubs, while bicycling down Mission Street, in a waterfall in Yosemite National Park, out the window of an office building in Tucson, in moving trucks, and in the clothes-dryer at a Laundromat in Atlanta. Neither does this count include items that may have fallen from the van at EZ Mart in Newkirk, Oklahoma while stopping midway through a cross-country drive to buy seventeen gallons of gasoline and a bottle of Diet Rite Cola.