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Pocket Collection

While I was crossing main street I spotted a woman fumbling with her keys and juggling her various bags. She wore a very flustered face as she jogged up to the front door. I had my eyes locked on her slow but urgent process of opening the bank. Testing key after key. Her hands were shaking as she pushed each key into the lock. With a sigh of relief, she pushed the door open and started her morning routine.

I left to walk down the street, looking for a person willing to give me something in their pocket. Fifteen minutes had passed and I still managed to have nothing. Once again I pass the bank and see the woman now sitting calmly at the front desk. I didn’t want to bother her after witnessing how her morning started, but I was desperate to acquire an object before the time ran out.

I walked into the bank, slowly approaching the desk where she sat. Her eyes flash up at me with a dismissive expression as her coworkers slowly stare me down. I panic. All I can think is that I definitely chose the wrong person for this assignment. In the smallest voice I introduced myself and explained that I was an art student at Alfred University. I had explained the prompt for the assignment and had politely asked for something from her pocket. She didn’t answer right away, and I flew right into full panic mode. As I was about to throw a handful of apologies at her, she cracked a small smile. Her face lit up. The smile grew bigger and she handed me a yellow sticky note.

It was crumpled into a ball. While I was opening it up, she told me how she thought the prompt was very interesting and was excited for cooperating with me on the project. Blue inky was scribbled onto the paper. The smooth letters spelled, “son’s b-day need card.”

It made me smile. She explained the crazy start of her morning. Her son came home yesterday for his birthday. She was so excited to see him. She was too busy catching up with her son this morning that it made her a little late for work. In the rush of things that morning she forgot to pick up a card for his birthday.


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