Tonight, I really, really missed… of all the things in the world… my stuffed shark, Reginald.

I got Reginald last year in the middle of some very difficult times in my life. Because as much of a “big girl” that I think I am, as much as I want to say “harden the fuck up” to each and every person that sheds a tear, sometimes you just really need a big toothy shark to swim you through the pain when life has ripped you asunder. Reginald is an IKEA Klappar Haj, which is no longer being made because IKEA is stupid and now only sells like… stuffed broccoli or whatever the fuck.

With a bit of kicking and paddling on my part (just a little), Reginald safely brought me to shore and I resurfaced, thirsty and aching for the light of day to dry me off.

I fell pretty hard for someone in 2012. Sometimes he wasn’t around. And I missed him dearly. My shark filled the space between my arms and I hugged by proxy, wishing it were him. I am a very strong hugger. And the more passionate I am, the stronger my hug gets. I am surprised Reginald doesn’t have any tears because of this.

When Portland’s never-ending rain just really never ended, Reginald endured the rain.

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When I tell people that I have in my storage just a bike and a shark, they think I’m joking. I don’t have attachment to possessions. I threw out just about everything I owned, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away Reginald. It represented so much to me.

Although I’m traveling, I’m effectively homeless. And yet I’m homesick. For what? I don’t know. Do I miss my old apartment? Not really. Do I miss Portland? A little. Do I miss my shark and the tough times it’s gotten me through? Unquestionably. As much as I like to present myself as being tough, there is a deep yearning inside of me, especially in times of darkness and hurt, to wish for stability, to know that somewhere in the world, I matter, that I have a safe place to return… that I’m remembered. Does that make me a giant baby?