In Brazil, they have these little cloth bracelets called lembranças. Lembrança translated means a combination of souvenir, remembrance, recollection, keepsake—but either way it is really attached to memories. They sell them in different places and the bracelets will have the name of the location that that you’re in that you want to remember, e.g.: Lembrança do senhor do bonfim da bahia. The lembranças are supposed to be gifts, you’re not really supposed to buy them for yourself. But when you receive one, the person ties it around your wrist and ties 3 knots. For each knot, you make a wish. And when your bracelet falls off, your wishes come true.

I have two, one around my ankle (from Bahia), and one around my wrist (from Canindé). I’ve had them on for about a year and they’re so thin that you can’t read the writing on it anymore. I’ve been looking at them wondering when they’re gonna fall off, because I figure if I’ve had them on this long, I may as well keep going, right? Today, both of them threatened to come off. The one on my ankle has gotten so stretched out that it actually slipped off down my foot when I was taking off my leggings this morning.  Then on the subway, my other one got caught on this woman’s purse zipper as she was exiting the train. I had to break part of it to get untangled. It’s still around my wrist but just that much closer to being gone.

Both in one day. Is this a sign that my wishes are impending? There are no specifications about how the bracelets are supposed to get “lost.” You’re just supposed to lose them. Technically my ankle bracelet was lost and I almost had to lose the one on my wrist to free myself from this woman’s purse. Maybe there is no right way to lose it…but it just reminded me to patient because good things are on the way.