Fragments: The Fool and Her Bag

“It has got to be in here!”

Several travelers glanced over at the woman’s outcry, but she was ignorant of their attention, her own wholly focused on pulling everything out of a large blue bag sitting at her feet and piling it on the seat beside her.

First there was a small black velvet bag, which had a bit of a rectangular shape. Then three pens – red, purple and black. A plain clip barrette. A half-drunk bottle of water. She sighed, exasperated, and opened the bottle, finishing the contents and tossing the bottle into a nearby trash can.

An insistent beeping could be heard from somewhere and she muttered quietly, continuing to dig in her bag.

Next came a slightly tangled-looking ball of orange yarn, through which several short knitting needles were jabbed. She looked at this for a moment, and couldn’t help but smile before she set it on top of the pile. Then came a knitting magazine, dog-eared and raggedy from traveling around in the bag for probably quite a while, and this was laid on top of the knitting.

The beeping stopped, then started again.

“Hold your horses!”

One of the other passengers briefly considered asking her why she didn’t just upend the bag in her lap, but thought better of it, looking at the pile of oddments already started.

A pair of sunglasses was next pulled from the bag, and with it came a single earring. She paused then, peering at that single earring, and leaned back in her seat with her eyes closed. The beeping started anew, and she sighed, shaking her head, fingers moving over the single earring almost meditatively.

“Don’t be such a fool.” she mumbled to herself abruptly, and she tossed the earring into the pile as well and began her search anew.


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