Tuesday, May 17, 2016

star spangled purse

Seen this morning outside of Peets:  older gentleman I have seen before walking along the street.  Not sure if he is homeless or just spends lots of time out of doors.  He talks with an imaginary companion, or perhaps many companions.  I can't say they are friends.  He argues with them.  He gesticulates wildly, speaks emphatically.  Perhaps he is just enthusiastic in his discussions.  He is a white man, so I read the energy as negative, but I get that is a stereotype [white or non-POC often read my energy as negative, that is, so I read his in kind].

Today, as he crosses the street, and I look up, I note he is wearing, slung across his shoulder (messenger bag-like except in front rather than on his back) an evening purse... Union Jack design in bright red, white and blue sequins (or something else shiny).

I want to whip out the camera and take a picture, but decide that is rude without asking.

It doesn't really clash with his outfit: sage to army green jacket, dirty khaki pants.  I can't even remember the color of the shirt poking out at the collar.

The purse is so bright, and he is wearing it so nonchalantly yet ostentatiously, that I can't keep a small smile from creeping onto my so sad face.

I wonder if he has chosen this bag just for the attention it will have to garner him, or if it was just a whim or pure utility.

Later as I am returning from the post office, he is again at the corner, seems to be doing laps around this street.  I note that the purse is now open, so the design is not showing as proudly as before.  I pass him and say in a cheery voice, "your bag is open," just in case it has inadvertently been left open.  And, not so secretly, to gauge his awareness of surroundings ... and might he let me take a picture.

He looks at me and barely pauses his walking to gruffly answer, "I know."

No picture then, I think.  And, I note to self, I doubt he actually knew it was open, but what else was he going to say?

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