Issue 4 TOC
What's In Your Bindle?


by Dick Veritas 


    It’s pitch black; I can barely breathe; and a throng of knick-knacks, gadgets and personal adornments is crushing in on me.  The din below has fallen silent and I slowly push/crawl/swim through my surroundings, my fingers knifing through a pocket of fat pebbles that dribble across my arm as it reaches farther into the thicket.  As I bring my knee up to push myself deeper, it knocks into something hard and flat.  My hand fumbles against the hardness, tracing an outline, and I immediately recognize the shape as that of a laptop.  I brace my other hand against what feels like cloth spaghetti and press my shoulders back, creating a small hollow within the packed mass, like a skier getting his bearings after being swallowed by an avalanche.

    I crack open the computer and soon a ghostly light spills from the screen, illuminating my surroundings and revealing those pebbles to actually be chalky white prescription pills.  Looking down at my bracing hand, I notice the cloth spaghetti wrapped around my fingers is a pile of thongs.  I feel something firm beneath the thongs and brush the undergarments aside, revealing a large glass pane.  A little more clearing reveals the hood of a Toyota Prius.  I push my back harder against the packed mass, widening my hollow, and tilt the glowing computer screen to further inspect my cramped surroundings.

    I note a patchwork wall of iPods; big, opaque sunglasses; Western-style button-up collared shirts; a myriad of credit cards; a smattering of camera phones; colored, rubber wristbands; yoga mats; DVD cases for the Starsky and Hutch movie, the Planet of the Apes remake and the Mission:Impossible trilogy; packs of tofu; and bottles of water.  Eventually my gaze falls on the glowing computer screen itself.  A running Firefox browser window displays a MySpace page for DaKraken, a 25-year old Williamsburg resident whose general interests include “the smell of life” and “bellachacho.”  The bands listed on his profile are Architecture of Helsinki, Moving Units and The National.  After pocketing one of the loose camera phones, I close the laptop and resume my crawl through the darkness and assembled clutter.

    I hear a voice calling out somewhere nearby.  I push towards the sound, feeling a leather-bound book with soft, silky pages beneath my hand but the darkness keeps me unsure where it’s Bible, Koran or Torah.  The voice is nearer now and it’s singing.  Poorly.

    “Hello?” I offer into the cramped darkness.

    The singing stops.

    “Hello?” I try again, this time popping open the camera phone for some light.  Suddenly a doe-eyed, chubby face bursts through a pile of Bratz dolls tangled amongst DSL lines and looks straight at me.  “Holy shit,” I say.  “Britney Spears?”

    “What’s up?” the disgraced pop diva says with a smile.  Then she belches and a little puke gets out.  “Oops,” she says and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand.

    I really don’t know what to say, so we just stare at each for a bit.  Then I offer, “Well, I’m trying to get to the outside of this thing.”  Brit keeps staring.  “So.  Did you wanna—”