Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “zip, zero, zilch.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

The Zebra Witness

As I was wracking my brain for a Z subject—and coming up with zip and zilch, literally and figuratively — my eyes landed upon my trusty witness, and I remembered the following post about him. This slightly edited repost from 2015 is a good end to this Challenge. My little zebra has seen it all since before I started kindgergarten. Like me, he has gotten knocked about and is a little wonky now, but we are both still here. God willing, he will be here in two years when I, god willing, review what the fuck I have done in the last two years.

The ceramic critter also saved you, my readers, from suffering through a post that aligned with Saved By Zero (yet another not-of-this-century song, c’mon brain!).

The Zebra Witness from Jan. 29, 2015

Once again the Daily Prompt is another journal writing prompt. I cringed when I read it, “Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?” I’m sure the prompt is meant to be insightful, maybe fun, but for me it is another true life scenario.

My house didn’t burn down, but there was a fire involved as I torched decades of papers, letters, diaries, and journals before grabbing my theoretcial five items. The bonfire was cathartic; so far I don’t miss this baggage of my past. What wasn’t burned was packed for storage in Kentucky, and then there were the “five” things that would go with me in the car to New Hampshire — to live in a stranger’s basement while I looked for work.

Take that, Pond Scum Ex!
Take that!

Not knowing what kind of furniture I’d have in the NH basement, I put two folding TV-trays flat on the bottom of the Mustang’s trunk. A doctor-type stool was disassembled and put in the back seat. The entire trunk was filled with plastic bags of clothes for various seasons, as I had no idea how long it would be before I can retrieve my things from Kentucky. The front passenger seat was dedicated to the cat in her carrier, litter box, litter, food, and the overnight bag I had for the long journey. That left the roomy [sarcasm font] backseat of a Mustang for everything else, for only god knows how long.

What I couldn't fit into my Mustang (not known for their roomy hauling capacity), stayed behind. I don't know if I'll ever see it again.
What I couldn’t fit into my Mustang stayed behind. I don’t know if I’ll ever see it again.
You can see my Coach and Kate Spade handbags, testements to better times!

Into the backseat went computer items. I didn’t bring everything but I brought a lot. A small, Alienware laptop that acts as a desktop and has a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and printer hooked up to it was essential. An older laptop that was my computer before the Alienware and is a back up, and so it also came along — as did discs, cables, various computer crap.

My main reason for being up here is to get a job. I brought paper, pencils, regular office equipment. I’m also sort of, supposed to be, should be, gosh I’m so depressed that I am having trouble doing it, studying for both medical coding (ICD-9 and 10) and Microsoft Office, to at least get a certification in Word. I’m proficient in Word but people like slips of paper confirming such things. There were three grocery bags of books for these studies. There was another bag of books for personal reading.

I brought bed sheets, towels and blankets. This wasn’t entirely necessary as those were provided by the housemate, but again, if I get a job and get a place of my own, I don’t know how long it will be before I see my stuff from Kentucky. There were hangers. I brought my Kitchenaid mixer for making bread, stupidly thinking that this was one way I could help chip in around here, but the idiot guy won’t eat it. Oh well, bread baking is also a therapy. There were two grocery bags with dry ingredients of specialty flours. I had another bag with hard to find spices. I also brought a Braun minipimer and a good bread knife. I wish I had brought all of my knives because the housemate’s knives are the worst ever and dangerous to use.

There were a couple of grocery bags with personal care items. My sewing box. A box of shoe care things. A little fan — I know, NH in winter and I bring a fan? Housemate said the room was the hottest one in the house, and it is. I haven’t used the fan yet, but it has been close.

The only thing I brought that I think the prompt was getting at, the one personal item that would make no sense to anyone else — and the look on housemate’s face when he saw it was amusing — is a little antique ceramic zebra planter. It stands about 7 inches tall. I have had it with me through every move since childhood. It hasn’t brought me luck. It quite isn’t a talisman. It is a bit of habitual superstition of something on my part. It is a witness. I’d grab it every single move, fire or no.


  1. I love that the zebra matters enough to be a lifetime ‘special’ item… sometimes we all need to feel a little bit of continuity when everything else in life is up in the air 🙂


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