After surviving the 15 hour, 978 mile drive, my water bottle earned its first sticker: Ron Jon Surf Shop in Key West. It then spent the rest of the trip boiling in the sun just like me. For the rest of the school year, the pink Nalgene went wherever I went. Living on my nightstand, in the library, or thrown on the floor underneath my desk.
It’s because of these travels that my heart sinks and my stomach takes a hit when I’ve realized I left it somewhere. With all of the places it has traveled, all of the journeys the pink Nalgene has been on, losing it is like losing memories.
I picked up the brand spankin’ new pink Nalgene just before my friends and I made the drive from Elon, North Carolina to Key West, Florida last spring break. And that’s where the journey began. Almost exactly one year ago.
I snap at my mom when she mentions that my pink Nalgene covered in stickers is looking a little grody despite its washes. I wince and become defensive at her even suggesting that I replace it.