Thursday, September 22

Bag For Life

There were two of them, two bags, bags-for-life handed out by the supermarket for a small fee and these two were limited edition as they had prints of Star Wars on them. My brother and his girlfriend gave me them for Christmas. The print was the original film poster, and, being a fan, I was happy to receive them. They could contain substantial weight and would surely come in handy. In the new year I used the bags to take home my Christmas presents, groceries, and some food that my mother had prepared for me. The next day my landlord came over with the gas-man and saw one of the Star Wars bags—‘You like Star Wars?’ he asked me. ‘Of course,’ I said. ‘Who doesn’t?’ said the gas-man, not taking his eyes from his work. Yes, all three of us enjoyed Star Wars very much, and that was that.
It was going to be a busy day, but I was up and ready for it. Another dream-filled night, although they had not been wholly unpleasant. Such was my mood that I sung in the shower and prepared myself in a crisp ironed shirt and spent a few moments studying the revealed day from beneath my raised blind; the sweet blue of the equinox. A quiet chill came through the window, certain to warm up slightly by noon. The tube to the other side of town was not so busy, allowing me to sit down after a couple of stops and read. It was a good book that my cousin had recommended. I had arisen early, so as to get to my meeting early: I had forgotten to print something out. Outside of the station was warm and white about the soft air. The crowd emerged and dispersed down various side-street routes.
Deciding I would not get a coffee from a particular coffeeshop but another closer to site, I followed the main thrust as they – or rather, we – went down an alley. The alley was sided once by a large cafĂ© and twice by a building site. At times it seems that London is comprised solely of cafes and building sites. Usually there is a homeless man who sits at the side, composed and shoe-less (removed and neatly placed next to him), he looks around, sitting on a rug where coins are tossed. This morning I look for him, but see nobody.
Then, a nook, a body lay within. It is most likely a body, but mostly it is completely covered by a sleeping bag. People pass him by. I pass him by. There is a body in there somewhere. All that movement around and he lies there, sleeping, or at least resting by himself. It is strange, I see it, next to his mass, a Star Wars bag-for-life just like mine. It is filled with objects I cannot make out. Quite unworried of its theft he sleeps and next to him is the Star Wars bag-for-life. I remembered getting mine for Christmas and the smell of the Christmas tree. Not since then have I seen another. The sleeping bag is motionless, and the body inside. The footsteps carry on by. I carry on by.

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