a butch purse

In order to defeat the bout of writer’s anxiety that I’ve been faced with lately, I’ve decided to try that age-old writing excersize: write what is in front of you. In this case, K.’s purse.

Every time I look at K. with her purse I am reminded of a line by Jeanne Cordova, “A butch purse is an only child. Femmes have as many purses as shoes.” When I first read that I nearly had an asthma attack laughing, because it is so, so true. K. has only two bags: a green YakPak messenger bag which is falling apart at the zippers, and this purse. I, on the other hand, have an obscene and ever-changing number of purses, many of my own making, some adopted out of pity, some purchased in a moment of weakness. I’m fond of interesting linings and have yet to figure out the ideal number of pockets. Bags and purses are my great fashion love, and I collect them and treasure them dearly. I have no idea how she survives on only two.

But she does. The messenger bag is for cargo, a transportation item only, and the purse is for occasions when all you need is a wallet and keys. Some chapstick. Cellphone. Possibly a small notebook for shopping lists and the like. The purse she has fulfills these requirements and no more.

It’s a deep red, dyed leather, with a thick strap and many pockets. It doesn’t look designer but it does have a little plate affixed to the side panel: “liz claiborne. established in 1976 and made for all lifestyles.”

No kidding.

alteration, permutation, transformation

You’ll note the blog has a new address. No particular reason for this other than that I got tired of the old name, and wanted a new, easier-to-understand look. Which appears to be the theme of the week….

One result of my girlfriend’s fabulous new haircut is that other people read her as butch. We have always been recognizable as a couple, because I am girlier than most (though not as much as some, due to a lack of time in the morning), but I do not think K. has been particularly noticeable on her own. Perhaps because she is somewhat shy and used to have a habit of making herself invisible. Either way, this is all different now.

She comes home from her retail job ecstatic because, in her words, “a girl flirted with me! That’s never happened before!” I am fairly sure this cannot be true, but I will admit she is not a magnet for attraction. At least, she hasn’t been before. From now on, I’m thinking I might have competition—and that’s a surprisingly uncomfortable thought for me.

But for now the jealousy is an entirely different subject. I struggle on and off with a feeling that I have no community, and as she described the thrill she gets from being noticed by older women coming through her line, I couldn’t help but feel my heart sink a little. She says there’s something in the way they glance at her, some kind of connection, “that little spark of recognition, you know?” and I say, “not really,” but tell her that must be a good feeling and I’m happy for her.

K. seems to me a butterfly right now, some holometabolous creature emerging transformed in brilliant colors. I am slightly in awe, and held in expectation. I am eager to find out who she’ll be, to see her unfold and stretch out, privileged to be here as it happens–and hoping that some of this newness will rub off on me.

million-dollar question:

Can I learn to tie a Windsor knot? How about with my eyes closed?

….before Friday?