I never wanted to fall in love with a bag. It just happened
After a lifetime of searching, I finally met the perfect bag.
It was in military style, compact, slim, body-hugging, and the straps had clips on them so you could remove the bag with ease. It was perfect, just a little bit bigger than the outline of a 13” computer. It was everything I look for in a bag.
I won’t link to where I bought it because I don’t want anyone jacking my style. I, and only I, am the comic who wears a little black bag.
I welcome the bag into my life
I bought a bag in sand colour and paid half its cost extra for expedited shipping. I cancelled appointments when tracking updates suggested it was due for delivery and moved my workstation closer to the door so I would hear the courier knock. Signature was required.
I opened the box and fell in love with the bag immediately. I see that now.
Over the next few months, it went everywhere with me. Sandy the bag accompanied me over nights that turned into weekend-long benders with no accommodation. When I was using public transport to deliver cargo, sandy was hugging me through the streets. One night ended not so good and I used her as my pillow at Wolli Creek train station.
This beautiful sand-coloured bag carried my most prized possessions: my voice recorder with an hour-long podcast and months of standup shows on it; my passport, scales, various chargers and battery packs, legal documents, a comedy notebook with six months of killer material !!! a journal which should never see the light, and twenty-three cigarette lighters.
I lose the bag
Over circumstances I cannot explain here, the bag was either lost or stolen over an unaccounted period of 7 hours and 23 minutes. CCTV footage was inconclusive.
I am unfaithful
Everyone grieves in different ways.
My immediate reaction was to find the nearest bag store and buy an ugly and uncomfortable Samsonite. I looked like an unsuccessful entry-level commuter. I hated it, but I wanted to punish myself for losing sandy in the first place.
There was another bag at the store which was bigger and stylish in a cool grey colour. It had a cute monkey on a keyring hanging off it. I liked it but my grief had left me unable to make good decisions.
After a week of self-inflicted punishment, I could take it no more and returned to the store with a worn bag and a crumpled receipt asking if they’d exchange. The boy behind the counter was very sweet. I think he could tell I needed it and agreed to the exchange, granted I pay the difference.
That is how I met Lawrence.
He’s the little monkey that hangs off my bag.
Can I love a new bag again?
The new bag was good. I liked it. It was useful and stylish, had all the right pockets, and could even conceal drinks and other items of value through bag searches at numerous events. But it was no sandy.
I brought it home to my family.
My brother took one look at it and said, “Bro that’s not cutting it.”
I was hurt, but I had Lawrence.
One day my brother went bowhunting and shot two goats. He came home smelling of blood and said, “Bro, I need one of those bags like you use to have. I’ll buy two.”
I reluctantly agreed. He chose camo and I chose black. It was time for me to grow.
The bag goes to surgery
Shortly after getting the bag I discovered the strap clip on the left side was damaged. The bag would pop off whenever I started running! That’s problematic; I frequently break into a sprint and I need my possessions to stay with me.
I took the bag into a repair shop along my route to the library where a 73-year-old Russian woman and a middled aged Chinese man inspected it and quoted me $18 to fix it.
“Bring it in the next day, leave for a few hours, okay?” the Russian woman commanded.
I complied, but when I brought it in the next day, she said it would cost $25. It took some protesting for her to discount the price to $18.
I returned in a few hours and was immediately distraught to find a seemingly hack job on my left strap. The clip was upside down, twisting the strap, and glue and fraying threads covered the seam. I demanded she repair it, but the Russian woman was unperturbed by my annoyance. She took out her knife and sliced the strap again and again and again trying to get it right. She must have sliced it 10 times.
With the 11th slice she aroused my anger and I screamed, “You’re only making it worse!”
A brief kerfuffle broke out. The Chinese man ignored us and continued sewing. Later the Russian woman agreed she would fix it properly and I was to return in several hours.
I love the bag
I walked in sheepishly.
“I’m sorry I got angry earlier,” I started.
“It’s okay, we all get mad,” she replied. She handed me the bag. I slid her $20.
“It’s just that this is my most ppp ppprr..” I stuttered.
She caught my gaze as she shushed me. Surprise washed over her face.
“You love this bag!” she exclaimed. Recognition replaced surprise.
I took a moment. It cannot be that I love a bag, can it?
“I … yes, I do,” I said.
We stared into each other’s eyes, aghast with our mouths agape.
She slid me my money.
“Pay another time. We fix shoes and bags and anything else. You no pay today, okay? Okay. Okay now, bye bye.”
“No I want to pay you,” I argued. “You did a good job. I appreciate you doing a good job. I am very happy, please let me pay you. Here I’m just going to leave this here.”
She shoved the money into my shirt pocket.
Another kerfuffle broke out between us.
This time the Chinese man appeared. I feared he was trained in martial arts, which is incredibly racist, and I left the store quietly.
Later, I apologised to Lawrence.
Every girl has a little black dress. I have a little black bag.