As I was rushing out the door this morning to go to work, I picked up my bag and slung it over my shoulder, locked the door to my apartment, and then began my decent down the flights of stairs leading to the ground level of my building. I'm hurrying down the stairs in my cowboy boots as fast as I can without falling and I become increasingly aware that my bag weighs approximately one million tons. I'm thinking to myself, "What in the WORLD is in this thing?" It feels like my bag gave birth to a litter of baby bags overnight and now I'm carrying the whole extended family on my shoulder. Obviously, my bag didn't accumulate all of this weight over the course of one night. It's been a gradual process that started when the handle of my knock-off Miu Miu bag broke and I switched to this tote bag that I got at a Sonic Youth concert in 2001. The bag's been well-used and it shows. It smells weird and has a few holes in the bottom that I like to think of as a handy filter for items too small to be of any significance anyway. Like pennies. We live in a disposable society, right? Anyway, when I get on the train, I open up my bag and started rifling through its contents. Here's a list of what I found:
1 wallet (contains driver's license & social security card (!))
1 copy of Kafka on the Shore
4 pairs of glasses (1 prescrip, 2 sunglasses, 1 pair cat-eye faux lens)
1 guitar slide
1 unopened copy of Xiu Xiu's "Women As Lovers" CD
1 ipod video (no headphones)
1 digital camera (batteries dead)
1 pair of gloves
1 tube of lipstick + misc. lip glosses/chapsticks
2 tubes of concealer
1 letter from my mom
+ a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals: 1 bottle of Pepto Bismol,
1 bottle Tylenol, 1 empty bottle of Aleve, anti-anxiety pills,
anti-nausea pills, and motion-sickness tablets.
Now, if you add all these variables up you're bound to come to some important conclusion, right? What do these items MEAN. Why do I have them? What do they say about me besides that I'm practically begging to be a victim of identity theft? What's with the harmonica and all the drugs? Let me tell ya, that harmonica comes in pretty handy when I'm waiting on the subway platform and need some spare change. Seriously though, let's focus on this pharmacy that I carry around with me on a daily basis.
I haven't needed half of that medication in FOREVER. Fortunately, I've come a long way in battling my neuroses. At this point, the prescription pill bottles themselves serve as a pretty effect form of anxiety prevention. Just knowing that they're there in case of an emergency freakout is comforting. The bottle of Pepto is the most recent acquisition, and I think it rounds out my collection pretty nicely.
As for the other items, I think that they reveal several things about me. Like that I'm a music lover but I don't have enough time to listen to the music I like. That I never want to be without a means to cover my flaws. That I enjoy silly eye wear, especially if it makes me looks super queer. That I like Murakami just like every other hip commuter. That my mom is awesome and still uses good old-fashioned snail mail as a means of communication. That I like to document my experiences but don't like to purchase batteries...
What's in your bag?