I find myself standing at a great and terrible crossroads of my life, a hideous nexus which I never expected, a dark line etched in darker sands, which I swore never to cross. Behind me lies Life As I Know It, and ahead, there is…the abyss.

I’m thinking of buyin’ a purse.

Every fiber of my being recoils from this notion, as it would brand me forever as A Girl. I am not down wi’ dat. I have worn a backpack for years, and I have been fine with that. I am a backpack sort of person.

On the other hand, the other day I was driving with a friend of mine, and we saw some ducks, and she offered to stop, and I didn’t have my binoculars, and I realized what I needed were some of those mini-binoculars for emergency birdwatching, and then I’d need something to carry them in, and my backpack being a bulky thing, I rarely take it with me unless I know I’m going to be sketching, and anyway, I have some rather flattering slacks that are actually cut for women, but the terrible price of wearing pants that do not make me look like I have hips six axe-handles apart is that the pockets wouldn’t hold a freakin’ chiclet. (I resent this bitterly. If you’re not going to give me useable pockets, don’t even put the holes there. Jerks.) Granted that my wallet needs to hold both several days worth of receipts and a small stash of business cards, this becomes rather problematic.

So I suppose I need to get a purse. And it must be sufficiently cool a purse to beguile even my deep anti-purseness. It must be eccentric. As my buddy Carlota (she who offered to stop for ducks) suggested, it must be hand-woven of rare African reeds and then peed on by Bengal tigers, which is a neat trick granted the respective locations of Bengal and Africa. I don’t know quite what the tiger pee would do, other than smell fairly rank, but I appreciate the notion. I am a weird person, I must local a suitably weird purse, if humanly possible.

It’s a terrible line, and I shudder even now to cross it.

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