Dreamboat Travel Bag

by The Lingernots


Bag by Earnest Alexander

In the grand tradition of having relationships with objects, I want to talk about the James Dean lover type of object… My Travel Bag. I capitalize it because Travel Bag has been my handsome accessory and companion for years, and I sometimes say “he” when referring to it, because it’s always had a sort of rugged masculine vibe.  It’s been a airport pillow, a parking lot buddy, gathered dust in Spanish hallways..  I found Travel Bag in one of those big city alleyway stores where suitcases and travel bags are hanging all over the walls and you can buy flimsy luggage sets for fifty dollars and they come wrapped up unceremoniously in plastic, like deli meat. I found this bag and decided “This is my travel bag”. It’s a light tan canvas bag with leather handles and it was the only one that seemed to come from another time. It looked like a bag that could go camping, a bag that could lay on a sheepskin rug in a safari tent in the jungle, a bag to take on a long motorcycle ride through Big Sur, and also like one that would be at home in a beautiful hotel bar while you wait for your room. This is my travel bag and I have been bummed out because for a couple of months, I have been using it as a bag to put paperwork in, like W-9s and bank statements and old leases.  Is this growing up? It sucks.

In one week my best friend Charlotte came to visit me from Montpellier, France, and I no longer had a job to go to everyday. We were having a summer vacation like we had wen we were kids, but were running out of things to do in Austin, so the time came to dust off my bag and go on the road. There is nothing like a summer road-trip, making compilations, the watery diner coffee that seems only drinkable when you’re out of town, motel room sleepovers and (my favorite) treasure hunting from strange new towns.. We bought some fig newtons and two packs of cigarettes and filled up the heart flask with some rye, and left in the little car that was our roadmobile for the week. We forgot our CDs at home so we ended up taking a chance with what’s left of the radio…

Now, being back home, I can’t help but look at the bag with longing eyes dreaming of palm trees and airport lounges and more adventures.. SOON.