Three Ways of Looking at a Bobby Pin
I. I left him with several things: a coffee mug, a batch of cookies, two loose screws from my laptop that fell to the floor when he was trying to fix it, a secret only a few people knew, several bobby pins. I think about those bobby pins sometimes, the ones left pressed between his sheets. Did he find them later and remember? Maybe, mere days after I left, he found one after lying in bed, uncomfortable, something poking him in the side. He feels around until he grasps the bobby pin. He looks at it for a moment, unsure. Then he places it in a bedside drawer.
II. Or maybe one of them slipped behind the bed. He doesn’t find it until weeks or months later, when the remote control drops down there and he has to retrieve it. He reaches his hand down in the crack between wall and bed, feeling around blindly. Fingertips brush a slip of metal and he picks it up. Maybe it takes a moment to remember where it came from. When he remembers, he throws the bobby pin out.
III. Or maybe, it’s years later. He’s moving. His bed is dismantled entirely, the room bare. Someone runs a vacuum over the unseen bobby pin, which blends in with the carpet. It gets sucked up into the vacuum and clanks for a moment, then settles down, forgotten, unseen.
Grace Carlson is a writer from Washington. She writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and the occasional poem. She also writes articles on travel, mental health, writing, and books. Sometimes she’s funny, or at least that’s what her mom says. Follow her on Instagram @gracieawriter.