I want to tell you about my can. It’s a little one. A pequeño. It’s not even a regular soda’s size. It’s even smaller. It’s a wonderful can. I place two shoes inside it, the kind that you can roll up, one zipper style raincoat hoodie, a spare pair of underwear, two unused undershirts, and two plastic socks. My can has two dents in it. This is from when a bozo tried to take it from me. I held it so tight to my chest I nearly crushed the thing, making the dents. Good news is they’re my dents and not the bozo’s. He didn’t even leave a mark. When I was a boy the can was given to me. I was told to protect it. To carry it around on a string from my neck. I was told it was magic.
A clown of a man once tried to ridicule me and my can. He shouted and spit. He tried to make a fool of me on a city street. Before I’d cleared the crosswalk, just before I reached the curb I lifted the string that my can swings from over my head and looped it round my hand. I spun my can in a furious helicopter motion and started running towards the clown screaming, “my can is powerful, my can is my guardian, my can is my friend.” I could see the clown’s eyes grow wide, the way fear creeps into an unsuspecting face because what I was doing threatened him, and was maybe a little strange. He closed his clown mouth. He waved his clown hands in their stupid white gloves up at me, the sign for “stop,” and “please,” and “don’t.” I got real close to him and stopped spinning my can. When my mouth was very near his ear I whispered, “it is a very good can, my can. Wouldn’t you agree?” The clown nodded his clown head once and I walked away.
When I won my suit at the renaissance fair it was thanks to my can. The man who ran the bottle toss bet me I couldn’t land my can over the neck of one of his bottles. He sized my can up before he bet me, was sure it was smaller than one of his plastic rings. He had an unshaven face and an unfriendly painted brow. He’d made himself look like a threat. I accepted his offer by supplying my terms. I told him, “if I land my can around the neck of your green bottle than the business suit worth 150,000 tickets will be mine.” The man of course laughed. The business suit was known to be unwinnable. To the visitors of the fair it had never, in fact, been eligible for winning. But no one had ever had a can like mine. I spun it in a helicopter motion, I let it go while keeping hold of the string and I landed it right over the neck of this man’s green glass bottle. I pointed to the suit and the stunned man handed it over. As I held my pointer finger out the man rested the hanger’s hook over it.
“Thank you for my suit,” I whispered to my can. Then I made the satisfied face a cat makes when it purrs, I slowly blinked my eyes at the man, lifting the string over my head and resting my can against my chest.
My can and my suit are my assets as I am theirs. I take them for walks and show them our world. All the while they hold me in and let me out. I am never alone because one is always embracing me while the other is softly kneading my heart.