1. My diary. I accidentally pour coffee on it at least three times a week. A friend gave it to me as a graduation present and left a love letter to me on the first two pages. It fits perfectly into my other purses, and I know this because I bring it everywhere and have literally taken it to bars with me — not because I’m that annoying person who sits alone and writes ideas down or whatever, but because I have a paralyzing fear that my roommate could go through it. But also sometimes I have this secret fantasy of losing it, only for someone to find it, read it, and deem it a literary masterpiece (it’s mostly me crying about my period or describing how the people around me could improve.)
2. A regular notebook, the content of which looks like the inner workings of the mind of a procrastinating serial killer. It is just pages of me crossing out things that I needed to do. I also once wrote down “introvert nightmares” on Friday, April 28th and I have no idea what it means, but it’s the only thing not crossed out on that page.
3. A planner I bought at the MUJI near the Flatiron building when I was having a total internal meltdown and was ignoring all of my texts. It’s a very low maintenance calendar/planner and I only really fill out a week in advance. I sometimes am a baby and need reassurance that I’m ~*~doing things beyond existing~*~ so recording everything I’m doing is helpful to inflating my already huge ego. I also have a to-do list in the blank section of each month that just says “ORDER MORE CONTACTS” in all caps and with arrows pointing at it. I still haven’t done it. I am blind.
4. My wallet, which is stuffed with half-used coffee shop stamp coupons and tickets from probably every movie I’ve seen since 2014. I have five Euros in cash and that’s it. I still have my college ID because I have a baby face and still look like I’m barely 18 and so I use it at stores to get discounts. I have approximately seven different Metro Cards — ONE of which is my most up-to-date monthly card — the other six either have 12 cents on them or are expired. I don’t know which is which until I’m literally at the turnstile.
5. Crumpled receipts from the last 22 years of my life. I’m the person who is convinced I will use a CVS coupon from the 40 foot receipt they give me every time I’m in there, but they always seem to expire, like, two days ago.
6. Headphones that don’t work if plugged in a certain way so I have to slightly turn and pinch the end of the cord until I can actually hear anything.
7. Whatever book I’m reading. Even though there are already three other books in my bag (diary, notebook, planner), I will feel zero qualms about destroying my posture and including a fourth, large tome into my bag for no reason other than my fear that I will end up really wishing I had brought it. I never read on the subway, it’s entirely irrational.
8. 4,000 pens. All but one do not work. None of them have caps. I have a CRIPPLING FEAR of being somewhere without a pen.
9. A layer of actual dirt. No idea how this got in there, but everything I put in my bag comes out covered in dust?
10. Tiny pieces of granola. One time I made the mistake of trying to eat a Nature Valley bar and folded the wrapping over the remains to save for later, only for the snack to betray me and spill its contents everywhere. No matter how many times I’ve flipped my bag over to dump it all out, the granola remains to punish me.
11. At least a billion dollars worth of loose change. I don’t even use cash, so I have absolutely no idea how I am in possession of what looks like is 3% of the country’s pennies.
12. My keys, forever buried at the bottom of everything, making it perpetually a disaster whenever I’m close to my office building or apartment door.