Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ode to My Sack

I have been examining things I carry around, more specifically, what I carry them in. I went to the mall with a friend this weekend, and she, as is her wont, made a beeline for the purses and wallets section in every store we passed, including bookstores. This has forced me to consider my own graceless sack I lug around, like an external organ hanging on my shoulder, weighing down my gait.

Now I must confess, there are days I want to be graceful and efficiently feminine the way my friends are, in spite of repeatedly telling myself it doesn't matter what I, or my purse, look like.

My sack is an excellent example.

No matter what color, texture, material, or dimension of the purse is when I first purchase it, by the time a week has lapsed, it inevitably becomes The Sack. This is filled with things I can't use, like grocery store receipts from last month, orphan pen lids, defunct pencils, broken paperclips, single staples, and a couple of flash drives that have died and turned turtle.

When I look for a perfect purse, I look for something large enough to hold a book, even though I resist weighing down my shoulder with books. The next thing I look for is many compartments, mistakenly thinking that compartmentalizing my objects is going to make my purse more organized. Of course, this never happens; these objects aspire towards, and quickly achieve a homogenized identity and consciousness, much like indigenious peoples settling on the banks of a river come to be known by the river's name rather than their particular tribes and origins.

I remember, some time ago, I'd found a purse that fit me exactly. It was the right size to hold a small hard cover or a paperback; it had just the right length of straps which could not be adjusted, thus saving me hours of agonized choosing and adjusting; it had the exact texture, not too rough, not slippery, being made of the perfect blend of canvas and recycled plastic; it held enough leftovers from the week so I didn't have to upend it daily, yet was not large enough to go without being cleansed, purged, for much more than a week. This purse had felt so perfect, I'd even forgiven it its lime yellow and white, hues that went with nothing, not my clothes, skin tone, cell phone, car, or any part of my external being.
Of course, this was too good to last and this purse got stolen before the month was out.

This was a sure sign from the Universe, beyond reasonable doubt, that I was NOT to have a fitting purse in this life time; that my being tied to The Sack was a existential gesture on part of the Cosmos to ensure that the world may be balanced. Sisyphus-like, I pull my sack around with what I hope is dignified resignation; Ixion-like, I am tied to my heavy hold-all that I shall never be able to put down for a rest; Tantalus-like, I gaze at windows festooned with the most perfect of purses, wallets, and carry-alls, knowing they are out of my reach.

I don't doubt that somewhere, my doppelganger is enjoying her perfect purse, confident in the knowledge that no matter what sack she purchases, within the week, it shall be miraculously transformed into the most ideal of purses.

After all, the Universe must be balanced.


  1. Wonderful post on the Purse! Perhaps I shall post on the miracle of pockets--the perfect pocket which would hold a credit card and a lipstick and not much else.

  2. Did I miss that post? I have been haunting your blog, looking for it.