Tuesday, November 2

Little Pink Backpack

Ever since leaving Virginia, I didn't think I'd hit traffic like back there.  People say, "Oh California is worse."  So far, no, net yet.  Not even close.  And truth be told, I kinda miss it.  Okay, I may just really miss my old coworkers, I really miss our favorite bar, and I miss what it's like to be able to walk home from last call.  This whole taxi shit is lame.  So thanks to the great state of California for selling liquor in grocery stores.  It's almost as awesome as Oregon's pumping your gas for you.  I do have to hold out for somethings.

But today was reminiscent as traffic came to a stop, on a country road, agricultural fields all around, with a bazillion flashing lights ahead at the intersection.  Trucks were screeching around, finding alternative ways.  I, still being the new kid in town and trusting solely in my GPS, stick around for the action and the promise of further traffic delays.  This is where I usually sigh deeply (since this is usually where local Virginians drive like morons, side-swip other vehicles, then spin out of control), curse inbreeding and shitty roads, then wait until I have a clear shot home because that's all I really want out of life.  Besides properly fitting inseams and sleeve lengths.

Instead, I saw a suburban, crumpled to dear life, on the driver side, surrounded by emergency personnel.  Lights blazing.  Traffic down to one lane in all directons.  Delays expected for awhile especially for those during rush hour since this was fresh.  I had my camera ready, because I'm always one for taking pictures of accidents....not because I'm sick, but because I like to show the Sheriff because he's skilled in analyzing that crap...PLUS it entertains me. So it's really 2 for 1.  Kinda like the Blue Light Special except I have all my teeth and don't wear that lovely red Kmart vest.  (It's red, right?).

I didn't take a picture though.  Instead, I saw a light pink Jansport backpack on the side.  It had been thrown from the back of the vehicle.  The stretchers were empty as they were still extracting the people.  Just one pink backpack.  That was enough to send chills down my back.  My arm hairs stood on end.  And I crawled by with the rest of traffic.  Camera down.  For the first time.

I remember my first Jansport backpack.  I went with the Sheriff to Costco, because they were on sale.  I think I was entering high school, and Jansport was like the 90's iPod (minus the CEO isn't rumored to have bought his new liver on the black market).  It was blue.  And I wrote my name on the leather bottom.  But I didn't tell my mother this because she would have killed me for defacing my possessions.  But it was my backpack.  And still is.  It's in my closet.  Ready for the next intermural softball game at Oregon State.  The sunflower seeds may be stale, but the memories are not.  I hope the pink backpack gets to make many more memories.  Just like I have with mine.

1 comment:

  1. It is funny (or not?) how a simple little object can jolt us back to reality and give us direction as to what really matters in our short time here. I too, really hope that pink backpack has many more memories.