Illustration for Denizen by Meghana Khandekar
the accordion of my wallet splits neatly into
two symmetrical sides, lined with pockets
containing memberships to two lives:
hong kong dollars and american pennies,
a yellow metrocard tossed in casually on one side
and my octopus card on the other, the card cover being
a freebie from the street that also contains my
hong kong SIM. it occurs to me that
i no longer remember this number
off the top of my head, yet i still can’t
bring myself to call this shoebox
on 79 washington square east home.
in this wallet, two lives sit together
a far, far cry from reality.
I can totally relate to this; I bought my current wallet precisely because it had different bill slots to keep all my different currencies separate from one another. Dollars, euros, and renminbi…money from home, home, and home.