a musing on a backpack, see?
amusing for the fact that i have earned a bachelor’s degree as a double major at uc berkeley*
find myself working a joe job with this startup cleaning the homes of tech kids in san francisco at twenty bucks an hour.> when you first get hired you get a kit with all your supplies or whatever, packed oh-so-neatly in a rolling behemoth of a cheap-ass china duffel bag.
so there i was, walking all over the fuck of san francisco lugging that cheap bag of misery behind me. it wasn’t too long before the wheels on the gimcrack thing started coming apart, as well as the bottom.+ i kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner. a recent ‘hippie holiday’@ find. something i would have probably never had reason to buy. one of those fucking north face outdoor adventurer things. kinda like this –
and let me tell you, it was a goddamn lifechanging experience. relatively speaking, of course. i mean there is a reality at play here that i will not hesitate to say fucking blows.
walking around san francisco wearing this thing, it’s been interesting, living a certain dynamic between myself
– appearing to do something quite different from what i’m actually doing –
and the people that cross my path over the course of day.
given my looks folks assume i’m just traveling through.
shopkeepers ask where i’m from.
gutter punks and hippies count me as their own.
out of towners, i suspect, think i’m homeless.
fellow commuters that i’ve seen more than once, i imagine, can’t figure out what it is that i’m doing.
i’ve always been one to connect with others, particularly people i don’t know, just going about a regular day-to-day and i will tell you, as much as i find my present station dissatisfying, those little moments, those momentary connections, they are what makes life a little more easy to bear when it’s heavy.
– the hippie skater riding his longboard on shattuck: turning long wide curves with a lazy turn of his hips, flashing a knowing nod and a smile at me as he passes.
– an italian restaurant girl in north beach$ – smiles at me as she turns her eyes down, craning my neck as i pass her and not afraid, either.
moments like these fill me with love and with hope.
but just as the backpack might bring these moments to me during my days walking the city
so too it is a burden.
and that i cannot forget.
often when i’m walking i think of it this way.
long spans of time
focused on the backpack as my burden.
the how and the why and the path to my station insignificant now
the burden is making me stronger.
as i make my way beneath its straps
ideas and schemes and hustle and things filling my head with their noise,
all good but difficult to sort at times.
the weight of a burden i am strong enough to carry.
*comparative literature and media studies, respectively.
>trust me, it could totally be worse.
+i am very boyish in the way i treat my things sometimes.
@wherein vacating students leave household items on the sidewalk for free taking.
$more on this later.