A man in his 30s descends the stairs of his flat, carrying three bags. Three different sized bags, three differing functions. One medium-sized sports bag, containing regulation human man clothes- a few jumpers, two pairs of jeans, two shirts which would pass as “smart casual” if he ever bothered to iron the fucking things, two t-shirts. A pair of boxers. Almost enough for a week on the road. A going away bag.
The second bag, a rucksack. The sort every human man possesses. In there, electrical items. Laptop, chargers, headphones. A book or three- one playtext, one classic tome from a Russian great or Murakami or fucking Kierkegaard and one collection of poetry. A Moleskine and a pen. The trappings of self-aggrandisement. Some teabags. Sachet of porridge oats. A letter from HMRC. A bag-with-all-your-shit-in bag.
The third bag, a placcy one. A new-minted fivepenny plastic, no longer destined for the bag of bags, but demoted to fulfil the function of the final bag toted by the travelling actor. Clean clothes. But not dry. Every piece of underwear he owns, save for the boxers he’s already packed and the emergency pair he’s wearing. Every paired sock and the rest of his t-shirts. Crammed in. Stuffed like Paxo into a jonny. Damp, smelling slightly homely, slightly shameful. The fruits of a misspent day off. A harvested disaster. A sorry conglomerate of soon-to-be musty vestments created by going to the pub 10 minutes after putting the washing machine on on Sunday lunchtime, and being too cheap to put the heating on to dry it when you get back five hours later.
Say goodbye to Mrs Anonymous from the bottom of the stairs and embark on the embarrassing task of draping the not quite sodden sodding bloody clean clothes around the three free headrests of the commuter vehicle I use to traverse the country. A t-shirt on the passenger seat. Fanned out undies on the rear window ledge. Socks trapped in the glove box, slam it shut so they dangle into the passenger footwell and catch the circulated warm air from the vents. Driving round England in a motorized clothes horse because I don’t have the nous to sort my fucking laundry out. A man in his 30s.
Socks in the glove box.
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