During our last months of high school, a friend and I went out for coffee. We played with our empty brown sugar packets. We exchanged them, and, consciously or not, carried each other’s in our own wallets for years.
If I still have that first brown sugar packet, it’s probably stapled in an old journal. But we still, separately, almost unconsciously, place them in our pockets, or next to our subway cards, or behind photos in our wallets.
The friend and I still see each other, and every time we pick up where we left off last. She has two kids and lives in the suburbs, but we work about 20 minutes apart. If I needed her, she’d be there. She’s there every time I come across another creased brown packet, hidden away in a drawer, or with my suntan lotion, or taped to the back of a photo.
My talisman reminds me of the magic of lasting friendship, support, and time.