The black bag

by jexmas on March 5, 2015

I have just finished speaking to the police on the phone. When I came out of my apartment door to go to work this morning, I was startled by seeing a black bag leaning up against the mesh outer door. We all have thoughts about these things. My thoughts feel laden with dread because I connect it to the theft of my plants a couple of weeks earlier. Is he back? Are my plants now in that bag?

I opened the gate and the bag was so heavy, it rolled down onto the next step. I stood back, suddenly frightened. Why is it so heavy? It is a canvas bag about eighteen inches across with limp handles. Something inside it is so heavy, I could barely lift it, so I stopped trying and now I have called the police. I do not know what other people would do. I only know that I am suddenly scared and thinking about bombs.

Two policemen arrive a few minutes later and I show them the bag. One goes down the steps to the mesh gate and grabs the handle.

“This feels like rocks,” he says. He drags it unceremoniously onto the pavement and unzips it carefully. They both peer inside and I am trying to peer in, too, over their shoulders.

“Oh,” says the other one in an exasperated tone. Inside the bag are the following contents: a length of heavy rusty chain, a large pulley, and a bicycle seat. The three of us stand around for a few minutes, taking this in. I apologize to the police for the inconvenience, but they are very reassuring and encourage me to do the same thing the next time this happens. The next time this happens? How much more random could this be? I thank them and we all get on with our day after leaving each other with wry smiles and shaking our heads.

I head off around the corner to go to work. On the next block is an Asian man wearing a safari suit, a bunch of papers tucked under one arm and holding a bunch of brightly colored chrysanthemums in his other hand. Three workmen in their overalls standing next to their truck with a construction company name emblazoned on the door are somehow held captive by him. He is yelling at them very loudly and it sounds something like, “Honest husband! Honest green wife!” over and over again. I look at the workmen as I walk by and one of them raises his eyebrows at me. I raise mine back and keep on walking.

I am beginning to feel this world in which I live in San Francisco is completely mad. There are some days when it seems to make sense, but increasingly, there are more days like today. A new day in San Francisco is a black bag. You just never know what you are going to find when you unzip the top and look inside.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: