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Bus Story: The Bags We Carry

December 29, 2010

A chilly but dry morning as 2010 continues its final week. I notice the bags my fellow riders and I carry every day for some reason this morning. Over there is a shiny vinyl purse about the shape of a loaf of bread. Coming down the aisle is a messenger satchel, made out of recycled car seats and with a seatbelt as the strap. The guy with the silver box-shaped bag is on board, so he’s still carrying his prototype ray-gun or some other super-secret experiment. There is a laptop case, branded with the ubiquitous mermaid logo. I, myself, carry one of those teardrop-shaped bags. It was branded, but has long since faded, from a company I worked with more than a decade ago. Then I see a young woman across the aisle reading a letter. She’s alternately scowling and quietly crying. She reads for a bit and then folds the letter and puts it away in her coat pocket for a few minutes. She seems to calm and then retrieves it again and the cycle starts over. I can’t tell if it’s a letter she has written and is deciding whether to send it, or if it is addressing her and she’s intensely conflicted and upset by it. She’s not carrying a purse or bag of any sort. I think that letter is equivalent to a couple of steamer trunks. Skycap! Could we get her some help with her luggage over here?

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