In my long-winded post about all the things I couldn't say about writing, I mentioned my Thinging cap and provided a footnoted preview of its utter fabulousity. I can no longer remember exactly when my Thinging cap came into my life--ten years ago? fifteen? more?--but I do remember exactly how it came into my life.
Our local Kmart has one of those claw machines full of cheap stuffed animals and other "fantastic" prizes in the little foyer between the sets of sliding glass doors. For a thankfully briefish period of time I had an as yet inexplicable obsession with that machine. I could not walk by it with quarters in my pocket without trying it--regardless of whether a single thing inside appealed to me in any way or not. I traded countless quarters for a haul of stuffed animals, most of which eventually found at least temporary homes with my children and nieces and nephews and even my siblings.
The only thing I retrieved from that machine that I still know the exact location of is my Thinging cap. It called out to me from its perch atop a pile of hideously colored Valentine's Day-themed creatures that only vaguely resembled the animals they were meant to represent. I got it on the first fifty-cent try--it was clearly meant to be mine.
I wear it on weekends mostly--I joke that it's so I can go out in public without pulling my hair up into its mandatory weekday ponytail or without even brushing my hair at all. But really, putting on the cap is about a change in attitude--it is my message to myself that I am stepping out of the everyday crap and more into myself. It works kind of like those tinfoil caps that protect people from thought-stealing alien radar waves.
It's gotten a little ragged around the edges, these past few years and I'm probably only three or four wearings away from having to reinforce the adjustable plastic clasp at the back with duct tape (rest assured, it will be zebra print duct tape when I do). I have scoured the internet looking for an exact replica or even something approaching its awesomeness to have on hand, in case of its dreaded (but probably inevitable) demise or loss. So far no luck, but the search continues.
Of course, I am not so superstitious as to believe I can't write without it, but I'm pretty sure I write better with it.