You stand, remaining upright. You weigh as much as 3 pounds or less than 9 ounces. You are held up by others like you, so alike yet so different, shoulder to shoulder, a mismatching line of colorful beauty.
I grab you, feel you. Initially, there’s a softness to your texture; as I continue through you become rougher, but still nice to touch.
Everytime I'm with you, I have to return to the beginning. The images, or lack thereof, the colors, the shades, inviting me to make assumptions that may be true or false. Every time I want you, every time I must put you down and then pick you up, I must look at the beginning and question or laugh at your original impression.
Suddenly you are colorless: black and white transforming into complex ideas, people and emotions. Inevitably a challenge: enter or break from your world. I usually can’t stop and I barely try. Perhaps sleep will force me to cease. Perhaps responsibilities. But when nothing else matters and I can resist you no more, sometimes for hours, I complete you, and you complete me. And when you finally end, I hold you, maybe tightly to my chest, contemplating how good you are, thinking about who else I would like to share you with, or rarely, how I want to share you with no one, because no one will love you like I do, like I did.
Sometimes I am angry at you. You wasted my time! And I maybe even throw you. But I will never put you in the garbage. I may resell, regift, or donate you, but never toss or burn.
I may have you sit by my bed for a while, until it is time to bring you back to the others, where you will stand proud, perhaps a little worn because you have been trudged in purses or backpacks, in the car and on the bus and train. And as I put you back, I say goodbye to the gifts that you gave me.
And after a day or so, I will find another one, and begin again.