carry it with you

the things in my pocket:

gum, keys, phone
receipts, a little money
cards, step counter, ear buds

are the things I need
not the things I want

the things I want:
breath, youth, love, power, fame

need to be closer
for instant access

My Earbud Problem

I continue to have problems with all the stuff in my left pocket.

Today I bought a new set of earbuds for my iPhone.  This is the original 2G model, almost three years old, and I’ve probably gone through ten or fifteen sets of microphones.

At first it was hard to find them.  I had to either pay a fortune to Apple, or get really cheap ones on eBay.  I would buy several at a time because some didn’t work at all, even when they were new.

Today I bought a decent set at the kiosk at the mall, and I asked the nice lady there if other people replaced their earbuds as often as I did — or if it was just me.

“The truth,” she said, in her heavy accent.  “Just you.”

The reason for this is that I keep them in my left pocket, along with:

• my bank cards, license, and other cards, bound by a rubber band — the things one normally carries in a wallet.  I don’t use a wallet because I don’t like sitting on small, hard objects.

• my pedometer

• my nicotine gum

• drops for my eyes

When I get a phone call, I grab the phone and the earbuds.  Sometimes they get caught on the pedometer cord, which attaches to the side of my pant pocket with a tiny clasp.

Sometimes they get snagged by the nicotine gum.

If the earbuds are tangled, then I have to really hurry to get them on while the phone is ringing.

They take a beating, but I don’t know where else to put them.

If I leave them at home or in the car and get a phone call — without using the earbuds — I can’t hear a damn thing.

I don’t like wearing them around when not in use.

So it’s a bit of a problem — but not much of a problem.  That is, it’s a problem that’s not worth solving.

The things in my pocket

I’m not complaining.  I’ve read Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.”

If, in my gut, I don’t appreciate how lucky I am — at least I have some intellectual understanding of how lucky I am.

But here is what I carry in my left pocket:

• nicotine gum

Nicotine Gum
Nicotine Gum

• iphone

• iphone earbuds


• a 3/4 inch thick wad of cards (debit card, driver’s license, library card, health insurance card, social security card, AAA card, and, for some strange reason, my tiny little laminated high school diploma).

wad of cards

wad of cards

I don’t carry a wallet.  I used to.  Then I went to the doctor one day with a lot of pain in my hip.  I thought it was a sciatic nerve problem.  He suggested I quit sitting on the wallet in my back pocket — a quick and easy cure.

A few more things in my left front pocket:

•drops for my eyes


•a tube of extremely therapeutic gunk I got from an herbal store — also for my eyes


•a pedometer


In my right pocket, I carry a couple of pens, a sharpie, and whatever change is there.

In my right back pocket, I carry cash (not much, if any), and my business cards.  I should carry more of these, but I don’t want the hip pain from sitting on cards.

In my left back pocket, I deposit other people’s business cards.

This is a lot of stuff — especially the left front pocket.  Frequently, I lose things.  Once I lose them, I spend a lot of time looking for them.  Often, I find them — in my left pocket.  Sometimes I look for things in there and have to take stuff out in order to find what I’m looking for.  Then I lose what I’ve taken out.

Sometimes, I take one thing out and something else accidentally drops to the ground.

Tonight I lost my nicotine gum. Still haven’t found it.

My wife told me I needed a purse.  She tells me this a lot.  We laughed about the Seinfeld European Carry-all episode.  “It’s not a purse. It’s European!”

She insisted I give it a try.

My daughter, the fashion expert, said it made me look even more ridiculous than I already look.

I thought I’d see for myself, so Alicia took a picture (see below).

Not gonna happen.

I might start shopping for a tiny backpack.