Lost and Found

Lost and Found

***

Lost and Found

My new white jeans dripped dirty, grey water.
My shirt, my hair, all of me soaking wet.
Riding my bike to school had never been
problematic before, but the recent
rain had left tempting puddles for those with
cars. I had to admit their timing was
perfect. Just as I rolled past, the car swerved
into the puddle and an enormous
wave of water soaked me to the skin. The
jeers were as painful as the soaking. The
lady in the office took one look and
motioned for me to follow her. “I can’t
do much about your undergarments,” she
said, “but you can borrow anything you
want from here.” It was the Lost and Found bin.
“Try not to drip. Here.” She grabbed an old sweat-
shirt and mopped up the puddle forming a-
round my feet. “Help yourself. You can use the
staff bathroom to change.” So I knelt before
the old wooden bin. It was a large box,
and as I delved it was like uncover-
ing compelling strata from ages past.
My curiosity took over as
I turned over item after item. An
old letterman jacket, far too large. So
many t-shirts and hoodies and single
socks and shoes. Sports uniforms. Random bits
of flotsom from so many people’s lives.
“You doing okay back there?” The office-
lady poked her head around the corner.
“I’m fine.” I changed into shorts and t-shirt
with antiquated logos and put the
clothing back into the bin, careful to
keep the layers in the right order, as
a burgeoning archeologist would.
I put on my disguise, wondering if the
people who used to own this stuff missed it.
Did they wonder what had happened to their
one-time favorite clothes, and did they miss them?
At least my sandals were mostly dry. “Thank
you,” I said, returning to the front desk.
“Do I need to return this stuff?” “Oh, no,”
she said, handing me a hall pass and my
wet clothes in a plastic bag. “Nobody
wants this stuff anymore. You keep it.” So
I put my wet things in my locker
pondering the ghosts of fashions past, and
hoping all my friends would recognize me.

***

Quickly’s poem-a-day prompt.

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