Thursday, November 08, 2007

a pack

Bicycling home on Tuesday I had a spill. Luckily, it was not while I navigated, just seconds before, a crossing of University Avenue at rush hour. Instead, it was on a quiet street. And, even more fortunately, the spill was not of me, but of my grocery bag: it bumped and rocked against the wheel of the bike from the moment I pulled out of the Whole Foods lot, until it could not take the abuse, exploding right there, in the middle of a hill, so that I would watch the Meyer lemon roll down and split in half. I’m not going to even mention the fate of the five pound sack of purple potatoes and the three pound bag of fuji apples.

I thought for a while if a dirty Meyer lemon is better than no Meyer lemon, deciding finally that the answer is yes, and pedaled after it.

I need a bigger pack, I told pretty much anyone I encountered the next day. And I want it to be funky cool.

Why is it that now, when I am not at a funky cool age, would I even care?

Style. We all develop it, whether we want to or not. Even Ed has style. Of a kind. And whatever mine is, I do not want it to wear the “sensible” tag. Because I am not that. Not much that I have done is sensible (with the possible exception of going to law school), not much that I envision for the year ahead is sensible either. I’m not saying this to put down “sensible,” but, as I have paid the price of being not sensible in so many decisions that I have made, I want to reap the benefits too. By wearing a not-necessarily-sensible-looking pack.

Get a Chrome – one student suggested.
No, a Crumpler bag. It’s great for biking.
North Face. Everyone wants North Face.
In Walmart, they have packs for under $30
– this from Ed.

I didn’t pick up any of the above because ones that seemed funky and cool were the equivalent of one night’s stay in Paris, even at today’s dollar value in Europe.

But I walked up and down State Street after work and I hoped. Not that the pack of such artistic merit would irresistibly come before me, but that I would come to grips with the fact that we are about to embark on a cold season that will not require a pack, because it will be too cold to bike to work. It already is too cold.

But you could not tell this on State Street, where the late day sun made things seem gentle and quiet. Almost warm.

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