Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm a Rhinestone Handbag

Photo of the Yesterday: The Brooklyn Bridge in the early morning fog, as seen from downtown Manhattan.

A Subway Vignette:

A middle aged woman sits up the aisle and across from me on the R train. Her features are sharp and angular - I wonder if she is of Cherokee descent, but honestly, I don't know how to differentiate one Native American tribe from another. Her nose is almost square, her brow is low and comes to a point in between her eyebrows, as if to focus the full force of her consciousness on whatever she looks at. Her face is leathery, creased, and walnut colored. I can't begin to guess how much pigment is hereditary and how much is courtesy of a tanning bed.

In her lap is a purse the size of a grocery bag. It's arguably the largest, most ridiculous handbag I've ever seen. It's fashioned from bleached suede and adorned with a random but immense scattering of rhinestones and sequins, as if someone had emptied a bottle of Elmer's glue on it and showered it with chips of cheap plastic and colored glass. Cowhide tassels dangle from its top and sides. At every stop, the woman clutches the thing to her stomach, ready to protect her dearest possession against any snatchers with lousy taste. Women always go on about the toys men have, and how they must mean to compensate for something. A powerful car, a fast CPU, a rifle, a boat - in the annals of the Lifetime Channel, they all supposedly indicate a tiny wee-wee. So what the hell can you say about a bag like that? What can such a monstrosity possibly be compensating for?



Anonymous said...

"tiny wee-wee" HAHHAAA!!! Top shot Tony! Pewrhaps the bag was given to her by a loving grandchild? Sounds like a craft experiment! Otherwise... it could be compensating for everything she holds dear which is very sad.

Rayne said...

This post totally made me laugh. I enjoyed it so much that my new post is in honor of you. (Did she really have tassels? I am sooo jealous!)

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Terrific description and speculation. If you were part of EDM (and not just IF) you might have gotten a photo, or done a sketch. I'd love to see a drawing of this objet d'art.

Caroline said...

How about that she was holding onto all the money she's got inside it - could be her life savings were in there...

french toast girl said...

When I first read this title, I thought you said "A Rhinestone Halfling." Which you have to admit, would also be startling.

love, me