Archive for September, 2010

Ode to a grubby friend

Today I face a dilemma.  It’s no life-changing decision, nor will its outcome affect anyone other than myself, but it is playing on my mind greatly nonetheless. It’s to do with my rucksack: do I wash it or not? A trivial question, you may think – “just wash the damn thing, you dirty tramp”. I can see where these thoughts could come from but, you see, my rucksack is my only true travelling companion and the dirt that is ingrained in his seams is all a part of who he is – who I am – and washing it would mean losing a little part of that forever. It’s not like he smells or anything.

From the moment I picked him from the crowd of stupid pink ‘girl’ rucksacks (who incidentally don’t have key clips inside them – why is this? Is it because the man must always carry clinky objects?  I don’t think so, otherwise men’s wallets would have change compartments – which is also a mystery to me) our adventure together began. Not only have we spent many nights  alone (and in company) together, sleeping in tents, rooms, or even under the stars, he has also joined me each day to the dull, grey skies of Basingstoke and beyond, he’s waited for hours for delayed trains, boats, buses, planes – even battered old utes. Our love is no fair-weather bond; he is a loyal friend. Like wrinkles on a well-worn face, the small streaks and dusty patches on his skin tell tales of his life with me – of dusty Savanna plains, of  spice-breeze shores, African wilderness, mighty storms and probably a healthy dose of wine and food. Heck he was even with me when we were chased by Hippos. Also, a small part of me doesn’t want to delve toooo deep inside his many alluring compartments – occasionally he throws up (excuse the expression) a real gem that brings memories flooding back; a map of a path I trekked, a ticket to a museum or, heaven forbid, a note from a boy, long forgotten and living on another continent.  This bag is a constant, comforting reminder of adventure and I love him just the way he is.

So, tell me – do you really have to wash a rucksack?


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