the materialistic friend

i found myself on a winding road trip earlier this week. i was moving back home from boston and my mom and i were speeding down the highway when our luggage roof rack popped open. out onto the highway tumbled two persian rugs, a glass scale, several pieces of art i had painted, a few dresses i’ve bought since i learned to enjoy shopping… we bumped over them before we even knew what had happened and stared, horrified, into the rear-view mirror as traffic slowed around our stuff. there wasn’t much we could do. it was far too dangerous to try to collect any of the stuff out of the left-most lane so we called the highway authority and reported the spill before driving to the nearest rest-stop to secure the now half-empty roof rack.

as we pulled back onto the road i stared out the window sort-of-lamenting my losses. but what came to mind, instead of the colorful clothes i’d never be able to wear again, were those items i was so relieved weren’t in the roof rack. the items that would have left me crying and empty had they tumbled onto the side of the road and shattered or exploded under tire wheels. strangely (or wonderfully) i could only think of one item…


made of synthetic fur and puffed batting, fluffy is a stuffed puppy that has been with me for more than 18 years. i am not sure who gifted her to me. her hairs are matted down where i have cried into her head on tough nights. i got lice in kindergarden and had 2 options to purge fluffy of varmint…i could either put her in the dryer for 1 hour on the HIGH setting or keep her in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. i chose the plastic bag because i was afraid the dryer would kill her. i once toted her to my arabic language class to sell her at “market.” we were assigned to bring in objects from home to barter in class. once there, i realized i couldn’t even pretend to sell fluffy and set her starting price for several thousand dollars in an effort to discourage people from taking her off my desk. when fellow classmates cheerfully agreed to my unreasonable price, i begged them to buy my small, rotting pumpkin instead. fluffy sat on my college bed for 4 years and once got stuck in between me and a guy i was hooking up with. another time i found fluffy’s exact twin in an upstairs bedroom at a party. i took the look-alike into my arms and began to cry alcohol tears at finding “fluffy’s long-lost sister!” i shouted this repeatedly at no one in particular. fluffy still comes with me everywhere i go today. i am not sure when i developed such an unhealthy attachment to a definite thing. but she has become much more to me. as weird as it sounds she is a support system, a literally soft and fuzzy comfort whether i am having a great day or a terrible one. staring out the window of my mother’s van, i pondered the gravity of her tumbling onto the asphalt and bouncing between the wheels of speeding cars. but this thought passed quickly as i realized that i would never make a best friend, even one made of a polyester-cotton blend, ride in the roof rack.

{Kuntsrule stories are written by our readers. Share your own at Kuntsrule Submission.}


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