List your essentials:
Well, I am – perhaps erroneously – taking this to mean the things I would need if stranded on a desert island, or stuck in a bomb shelter, prison cell or other such isolated environment. If that’s the case, here:
- My eyeglasses.
- Books. I’ll need some poetry: Emily Dickinson, Marge Piercy, Mary Oliver, e.e. cummings and Billy Collins should do. For prose to read and re-read, I want E.B. White, Maxine Hong Kingston, Evan S. Connell and Annie Dillard.
- Paper and Pencils. Lots! And a pencil sharpener, because writing or drawing with a dull pencil gets tiresome very quickly.
- A deck of cards. Or a handful of dice. Or both. I have seen myself through many lonely winter evenings playing solitaire, so it’s good to have them on hand.
- A toothbrush. Plenty of dental floss. A good toenail clipper and a set of tweezers.
- My little dog. If all contact with family and friends was lost, it would be especially comforting to have Rosa Parks with me.
Now, if I am to consider that I’m not stranded somewhere, isolated from the world, then I will add:
- A computer, for keeping in touch with friends and family (who, it goes without saying, are essential to my happiness), for online Scrabble, Google – for when my memory fails me – and all of the other wonderful things that a computer does.
- Coffee. With cream. Because, boy, I have been suffering without it while stuck on that imaginary desert island!
- Chocolate. Dark. With Almonds and Sea Salt. Or, just a dark chocolate Dove bar. Though I’m already wishing for those almonds…