The Elegance of the Black Bag

Making decisions has never been my strong suit, although I am very impulsive towards that. For me this has worked and my impulse is a friend that never abandons me and the one I owe a lot of scars and many successes to. One afternoon I got tired of everything, I picked up an elegant black trash bag, and it in I put all my purses, all my shoes and all my clothes. In a box all my bathroom utilities. And that’s it. I didn’t have space anywhere, because I had no where to go. I placed the 3 bags on top of the table and I looked at the kitchen, I saw my things very big and with effort and stuck with pride, but there was no room for the bags or the box, nor in life because my next stop was uncertain.

María Alejandra Pérez – Preusker © Solkes

I saw some wipes that mom had given me and put them quickly in my purse. I called a friend. Yesina always picked up my calls, she always knew that one day I would say to her “come with your car now, I am leaving this place” and that’s what happened. Yessina came with a car and a driver, I was at the door of the little house that saw a lot from me. My three bags, my box and I received Yessina as I imagine how they receive the auxiliary boats in the middle of the ocean. All was very quick, Yessina stepped out of the car and we hugged each other without saying a word, Ruben parked the car in reverse, so it was easy to get out of there. We put the 3 bags carefully in the car as if we were transporting corpses, we proceeded with caution, looking everywhere and we were nervous.

We closed the trunk. Yesenia and I were getting on the car and then the lapidary question from my friend: “Aren´t you going to take the TV?” I looked at her with grace but very seriously I answered “I am not interested, it will serve as company”. We got on the car “lets go Ruben” and after I told him “ no no wait”, I got out of the car quickly, I stood in front of the door, opened the window and with effort I stuck my hand inside I saw my friend, and she did a nod of approval and I let go of the key. After, the world was if it where a camera in slow motion, I heard the key drop and hit the red floor very hard, that floor, that had stained my feet, the one that I was used to.

I closed my eyes, the noise stunned me. I took deep breathes closed the window and ran out of there as if I had released a weight of shackles. I got on the car as if I were a bad guy in the movies and I screamed without the necessity, but I needed to end this with a bit of cinema cliché: “start and follow that taxi!” Ruben laughed and ran 200 mts and stopped. We all were in silence and asked me were should I take you?” I called Nancy: “just for today, can I stay at your house?” “yes madam come inmediately”. That without asking what happened why, who was it and when? Nothing. We arrived at Nancy’s house with 3 eloquent bags, and box.

We spent the night without sleeping, celebrating my decision to leave that sick and psychopathic relationship. Now I wouldn’t not awake everyday asking myself what am I doing here? We talked until we fell asleep. A noise in the dawn in Caracas awakened me. And I woke up stealthy and I saw Quetzal, Nancy’s cat playing with my bags, three elegant ladies guarding my life. I had an upset heart. I had so few things and tomorrow I had no where to put them. I sat with the cat to wait for the sunrise. Caracas is algarabia, parrots and kites, thieves, lovers of the sunrise, all noise was useful to me I needed a new beginning. Bathed and dressed with all my wrinkles from my clothes, I went out with Nancy directly to the office.

María Alejandra Pérez – Preusker © Solkes

That day I only took one bag with the intention of coming fro the rest later with someone to help. I was decidd to face my day to day what it was, a new opportunity I was smiling and very optimist. We went down the steep street that took us the Av. Urdaneta, a main street highly transited with buses, desperate cars and sales people who get up early with the sun. With my bag in my hand, my smile. I said hi to the man at the kiosk, who returned a greeting to us and with a question: “ Are those things yours? You are dropping a lot of things from your bag” when we corroborated his words we looked back and we saw a path of blouses, and pants, I was leaving clues of clothes. The elegant back didn’t support the caresses of curious cat who decided to sabotage my optimism.

The man at the Kiosk looking at our despair, because we were arriving late and we couldn’t go back and look for a new bag, he offered us a smaller bag and I was very thankful and it was the one I put all my delicate things that I bought with effort and pride. That same pride found a space in the bag of the Kiosk man and that’s how we all went walking, late, we walked as fast as we could with 8 cm heels and dodging gums, holes and pick up lines, those that they always promise that we are going to have wonderful time, made me laugh and I was thinking as never and it was only 7:30am.

We arrived to the main street and we tried crossing very quickly towards the other directs without passing through a bad neighborhood, it was far and it was better to go with the drunk guy as with a“pasarela caraqueña” I saw the bag not elegant and very close to pop. My clean tall heels “Sure let me know”. I waited that the bus passed an threw my self running as fast as I could through the avenue. I started saying how impulsive am I and this is the example.

I arrived to the island of the avenues, with the almost broken bag and without a heel. In my absurd hurry I forgot the 8 cm heel and it bended the shoe. On the island I posed as Miss waiting to be scored by the evening dress with a bag of el chavo and ballerina shoe. I manage to rescue the heel and I saw Nancy laughing at the other side. I was seeing her in the middle of a terror movie. With busses passing through, people screaming, smug from the street and us being late. I heard a guy saying “Catira (yes, that why he said) come and I’ll glue your heel on”. Caracas is like that, in the corner there was a shoemaker with all the necessary things. It made my day , I realized that I must of crossed the street with a recent acquired limp and my bag all that we know. I crossed as impulsive as before, but more resigned. The shoemaker had fixed my morning, he gave me solutions, I was in front of him barefoot with the intimacy that drunken guy would of wished for.

María Alejandra Pérez – Preusker © Solkes

Nancy was coming behind me laughing and telling me “ but soon the stores are going to open, buy new shoes” but I was seeing the glue coming out of jar and adhering to my green shoes. My shoes were green now I remember. That song “green hope” didn’t not exist yet or did it? I don’t remember. He glued my heel on with great distress and in less than 5 minutes I was stepping strong. I stood up from the little chair of the street, I paid the man gladly and I also heard gladly “with spirit Catira” I grabbed my blessed bag that wasn’t elegant or comfortable. I painted my lips with great skill as a prostitute without a mirror and said to Nancy: le’ts go, the hardest part, I did it yesterday and the heel is glued on” Nancy looked at me proudly and said gladly “ remember you are the boss and if we are late you are not aloud to say anything “ we laughed. We made it punctually to the office, at 8:15am we had already lived what one can go through an entire day. In the bag there was my clothes, the heel was glued on with the horrible yellow but effective glue. My pride squished in between the blouses and pants.

“Good morning boss, should I bring you a coffee”.
“No Heredia, today you will bring me a Vodka”.

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