It might be I’ve been slow to evolve, but only in the past year have I taken to carrying a handbag, (or purse, in the tongue of our US cousins). Previously, I preferred to carry my life in a manky old coat, any manky old coat, so long as it had pockets aplenty. Elegance didn’t much matter. What did, was the ability to carry with me everything I might need should the zombie apocalypse come down—and it will, I know this from watching, ‘The Walking Dead’.
Anyway, back to my handbag—large enough to pitch in the absence of a tent, and leather, should I feel the need to cobble myself a pair of loafers, it’s roomy, very roomy; think getting lost in a mansion roomy. And its interior is dark, and scary, and dangerous. As in sticky, mashed chew-sweet dangerous, or zombie infection dangerous, given the number of times I’ve snagged skin (and bled), on a sneaky, jabby tack, I can’t locate and destroy.
The point is, I’ve come to view my handbag and its contents as an untidy allegory for my WIPs (works in progress, or devices of pain wouldn’t be that far off the mark).
My bag is a repository. Full of things I can’t find, don’t want to find, can’t remember, and can’t forget. There’s metal knocking around in there (loose change, and keys that open doors), bits of plastic (representing‘blah’ that must be culled), make up for masking, tissues for tears. Pens, pencils (though those might be eye liners for emphasis, hard to tell), painkillers, tampons and dust, or is it fluff. A screw (ah, sex scene), a safety pin (for the prick of a hero who needs capping). A phone that vibrates (the pulse), a lighter for igniting emotion, sunglasses (for those moments of sunny optimism)…and of course, the requisite condom. Actually, I don’t carry one of those, as I’m not sure how I’d fend off a zombie with one, and I sure as hell can’t see it working as a bribe. Who's ever heard of a zombie needing that kind of protection? Icky, yuk, yuk.
See, parallels can be drawn, dots joined and shameful secrets shared. So, what do you carry in your handbag (or pocket) that’s revealing?