The One-Man Band And The Green Balloon
I was a one-man band bag-lady today. To be more specific, I sounded exactly like Bert in Mary Poppins when he’s got the drum on his back and the cymbals at his knees, where one step is the cymbals and the other is the deep bass drum.
I transformed myself when I went to the post office to pick up the two or three packages they had waiting for us. The postal worker handed me five packages instead. One was a moderate-sized box that was really heavy, three of them were obviously books, and one was a poster tube.
I had my backpack with me; it isn’t extremely large, as I don’t have to carry nearly as many books and notebooks as high school. However, I had to pull out the folder, water bottle, and novel (C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters) that were in the main pocket to wriggle the awkward box inside. It didn’t allow the pack to zip all the way closed, and I carried the contents of the backpack along with the three other packages and tube to the bus stop and to my apartment.
The backpack hurt my shoulders; I’m not used to that much weight. It has Play-Doh keychains on it- they were Christmas presents- and they acted as the mallets for my one-man band, both at slightly different pitches: Chink-clunk-chink-clunk, alternately to the rhythm of my steps. I also had my trenchcoat on and happened to be wearing all black or dark blue and pigtails.
I’m sure I was a funny sight with a grumbly face and voice as well, muttering, “I hope he’s happy. I hope he’s grateful,” because, you see, all but the poster tube were addressed to my roommate. And when I went to check the mail while walking to my apartment, there were two more packages in the mailbox: both for him.
But, after all, this is green balloon season. Down in Cedar City, whenever I was feeling particularly depressed by all the grey slush, white nothing, and brown blah, I would head over to the bookstore. There, they had an assortment of uninflated rubber balloons in bins. Some had designs on them and some didn’t, but I’d pay for one helium-filled, plain green balloon on a ribbon.
I’d carry it around with me all day, and that little bit of green in such a bleary winter made all the difference. It then came to live with me and floated about the apartment on its own intentions. I’m sure it annoyed the roommates, but it kept me amused throughout the winter.