the paper bag

let’s just go ahead and get this out there:

plastic grocery bags are a lie. all they do is provide handles to whatever singular object i purchased at the grocery and allow said object to hang limply, shapeless, without identity or an iota of self-respect.

plastic ‘bags’ are an insult to our very being.  this cannot be said enough.

so, as a responsible  member of humanity, when in the process of unloading carefully selected groceries onto a moving conveyor belt, i politely ask,

‘may i please have paper bags?’

i like paper bags.

they don’t slouch.

they hold a lot of s***.

i enjoy their texture and the sounds they make while cradled against my abdomen as i unlock the front door, fending off the storm door with my right heel.

‘sorry, sir.  we’re out of paper bags.’

i’m pretty sure hamlet had things easier than suffering through a tragedy such as this.  ophelia never double bagged a loaf of bread, from what i can tell.

two things happen when i hear the words quoted above.

1)  i stifle an irrational rage that would have me shoving every impulse buy in front of me onto the belt and cackling something like,

‘i’ll need a separate bag for each of these.’

2)  the challenge is set.



and mentally, i’m thinking, begging, hoping with a competitive fire from which the sun herself would shrink away,

‘gimme as many f***ing bags you can.  we’re still doing this in one trip.’

i used to think i started exercising so i could dunk on unsuspecting youth, too distracted by my wit and thinning hair to play serious defense.  then i thought it was to remain healthy later in life.  then i thought it was to give me an excuse to walk around my house half-dressed without feeling self conscious if i was spotted checking the mail while quasi-decent.

i was a fool.

it is clear to me, now, that i built a fortress of myself

so i can carry at least 13 plastic bags’ worth of groceries

from the car to the kitchen counter

in one trip.

well worth the hours and particular diet and aloofness that comes with physical fitness.

* * *

just realized

i still need

to unload them.


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