Friday, February 02, 2007

On emptying pockets

Recently I’ve been trying to decide whether I have too many pockets or too few.

Over the last five years my pockets have bulged beyond baggy with the paraphernalia of my technology-captivated, urban existence.

Cell phone, PDA, credit cards, business cards with their own container, a pen or two, a coin purse, keys (my God, the keys! Two for the house, one for the car, one for a jointly-owned motor scooter, one for my classroom, and one for…well I’m not sure what it’s for but I carry it ‘just in case.’), an old pocket watch and a miniature yet utilitarian Swiss Army knife with tiny, but excellent scissors, plus toothpick, plus tweezers, plus small screwdriver, and, I almost forgot, a knife blade.

Oh, and a small pouch for my hearing aides and batteries. It turns out the infirmities of age require pockets.

Keeping all these items straight can be a minor, verging-on-major, production. I do a lot of pocket checking throughout the day.

Which has led me to wonder what it would be like to have no pockets, or at least empty ones.

Imagine leaving the house for a 30-minute walk empty-pocketed.

Surely this must be some form of modern nakedness.

No keys. (Relax. What are the odds of the house being burglarized in the next half hour?)

No wallet. (No shopping list. Nothing to buy.)

No identification. (I imagine a neighbor finding me sprawled out unconscious in the street. He is scratching his head: “It sure looks like Rick but it can’t be—he’d have some ID on him….”)

No cell phone. (Just like 10 years ago. I did it then, I can do it now.)

No knife. (I’ll trim my toenails later)

No business cards, no PDA. (This walk is for leisure and experimentation, not business)

No hearing aide/battery pouch. (A short walk, well within the life of my batteries.)

Such radical pocket pruning would put me in a very different place…right here in my neighborhood.

One day soon I’ll chance it.

And pocket the experience.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you need is a bag!


6:45 PM  

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