Ranged on top of my PC monitor at work, ready to grin at me whenever I need to rest and raise my eyes from whatever I was doing, are these:
If you think that’s weird, you should see the dashboard of this cab I once rode in. It was full of various ceramic figures of angels and bears and virgin marys. I got on the front seat and just found my self staring at this menagerie, and it was some time before I managed to politely tear my eyes away (though on hindsight the cabbie would have probably loved the chance to talk about his collection.)
Anyway, my little menagerie, I guess you could say, grew out of several years of friendships. I didn’t buy even a single one of them; at one time of another they were just given by friends – the dorie mcdonald’s happy meal toy came from mithi, the glass cat I think came from bob, the kickers squeeze toy rubber shoe from carmina, the fat buddha and the shoe-and-purse note holder I inherited from rondell when he left the office, and the surfer pig was a freebie from when don and I once ate at yoshinoya. Hhm, I don’t remember where the glass fish and the pencil sharpener bird came from, but they surely came from friends at haribon, and now my menagerie has a more or less complete representation of the major groups in the animal kingdom.
It’s a quirky, happy collection, I like to think. It serves to remind me of my friends – not just the ones who gave them to me – but also friendships in general. The thought of people coming and going through each other’s lives, sometimes leaving their mark, sometimes not, sometimes unnoticed and unimportant, but in some cases sharing something really special.
The queen of the lot of course is my alter ego Dorie (it’s a no brainer why Mithi gave her to me), and, like me, she presides over her little domain with a huge confident grin, breezily, forgetfully going through life while inside she’s muttering to herself, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”