The Return of “Lugging All the Sh*t Home on my Bike”
I lug shit around on my bike. Lots of it. On lots of occasions. This is just one of them — here is a link to another. This evening’s haul was crowned by a lovely bouquet of lettuce. I tried to cram it into a paper bag, because the organic shop no longer stocks plastic ones, and my satchel was already full. A full satchel? Too full even for one little head of lettuce. Why, yes. Full of what? All this:
My new favourite “everyday” white, along with a bottle of something I love so much, can rarely find, and this evening when I saw a single bottle on the shelf, needed (yes, “needed”, which is different from “wanted” and from “decided”) to bring it home.
A bunch of fresh basil, which was really just perfect. It even passed the sniff test. You know, where you poke your nose into a tear in the bag to make sure it doesn’t have that rotten, mushy tang that afflicts all too many store-bought green things. It was going to be incredible, shredded into a lemon linguine, a lemon linguine that I have in fact been looking forward to since last night when I ordered it at D’s local and instead the server brought me a steaming, meaty plate of linguine bolognese. Which, really, was fine, but for such a hot and muggy week, the herbs and the oil and the lemon…those were the things my tongue and stomach craved. Tonight, I fucked the dish up, adding too much cheese toward the end. But, the lettuce bouquet made up for all that. I ate the entire thing.
And, along with the wine and greens and herbs and bike locks and such was this: the massive turquoise bag secured with a strap and heavy enough to make the bike sway when I took corners too sharply. The enormous blue satchel crammed like a clown car.
Stratified layers, beginning with material laid down last. All the clothes I took off while biking, one layer at each stop along my errand route. The cardigan with which I deftly disguised my arm, shoulder, side and belly tattoos during office hours (well, not that I need a special sweater for hiding my belly at work…it’s kind of a given that that part would be covered regardless of the skimpiness of my blouse). The knee-highs that did a somewhat less effective job of hiding the ones on my legs. And, buried beneath the stuff you can see is a sweat-soaked t-shirt…we don’t need a picture to expose its grossness. Just accept that the fact it’s not showing here means it was pure yuck.
Two cloth napkins, which were the first thing I grabbed when I got out the door, realised the neighbour’s lawn sprinkler was set to water not only their grass but also my bike, and needed something to dry the seat. And, a second one already jammed in the bottom of my bag from when the same thing happened a few days ago. Considering how rainy it’s been the past several weeks, I imagine every blade of grass on that lawn begging from root to tip to stop applying more water. Apparently my neighbours don’t speak grass; either that, or they’re just bad listeners.
The tissue in which the fresh t-shirt was wrapped when I bought it today. What? You didn’t think I just stripped to the skin and rode home without a shirt, did you? I hope not. I am a lady, I will have you know…
Extra purse, extra shoes, and hot pink weekend wallet. Why this was in my office bag is a question I will leave hanging in the breeze.
Extra pants, extra underpants, extra shirt, and toiletry bag. Pyjamas. Socks just in case. This probably tips my hand re: the extra stuff above…yes, there are sleepovers…yes, he is lovely. Yes, indeed.
The cookbook I’ve been reading, which learned me not only about Italian wines and how to buy, store and serve them, but also the correct method for cultivating an indoor avocado tree (the only kind, really, that will survive a Toronto winter), and provided the base recipe from which my olive oil cake masterpiece was recently born. And, the notebook that contains all my kitchen secrets…all three.
And, the back-up book in case I grew tired of reading about food. This one’s a re-read, and I think I love it even more the second time through. There’s a wonderful bit about survival thinking, and about how perhaps we ignore important information when it doesn’t serve our present aim. As well, a good chapter about how cities grow according to plans imprinted in our genes, and another about cycling through places not built for cyclists but which reveal their most charming parts when observed at the speed of bike.
An umbrella and bottle of gin — it was forecast to rain today! It didn’t and instead turned hot and stinky, my favourite weather of all time. For more about the gin, see previous references to sleepovers and spare underpants.
A pocket full of random shit, including a to-do list, and a strip of the most genius bandage ever invented. It comes in a long, fuzzy roll and you snip off as much as you need with a pair of scissors then apply it to whatever part of your foot your cute shoes has destroyed, shredded, or blistered beyond recognition, then later just soak it off in the bathtub. And, it’s a close match to my own skin tone, meaning the pale taupe treatment restores a more “natural” colour to feet scrubbed bright red by pinchy shoes.
All of this (and probably more, since I didn’t rummage in the little secret pockets or zippy-pouches in the underside of that blue bag) in one bike basket marked “25 LB MAX LOAD”. Well played.