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the magic bag Cue (ala Q)

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Joined: 19 May 2004
Posts: 297
the magic bag Cue (ala Q)  Reply with quote  

At first he had declined the offer of the magic bag, because he did
not know that there was magic in it. She had only offered him a bag. A
while later, when she said that all she had to do was to think of what she
wanted and it would then appear in the bag, he shook his head in quiet
sadness that he had been so foolish. She showed him the pink shoe she had
wished for, which had appeared in her bag soon after. He had heard her
talking about the shoe earlier and saying that she wanted it, so he knew
that the magic of her bag was real.

When her friend offered him a bag that looked identical, he asked
about the magic. Look, she said, the bag has shoes on it. He looked, and
it did. The bag was black and the shoes were yellow and red and green and
pink. He thought of the pink shoe which had magically appeared. It is a
bag with shoes, she said. If you have this bag, you can have any woman you
want, she said. He looked to her friend, and her friend smiled and nodded.
He took the bag, folded it in quarters, and put it in the pocket of his
coat. He was too shy to ask how to invoke the magic. He supposed it would
be evident once he could examine the bag at his leisure. Perhaps there was
a tag in it with instructions.

Happy to have the bag and the opportunity it gave, he turned his
thoughts to other things, such as when he could have some sleep. He had
been awake now for a long time and couldn't remember how long. His back
ached, not too badly, and he thought he had a headache. He wanted some
water and thought of it appearing in the bag. He was careful to imagine a
bottle of water rather than just water, since the bag would not hold water
on its own unless it had even more magic than he had been told.

The water did not appear in the bag. He smiled at his error. His
was not the bag of wishes such as that one, though it looked the same. His
was for women. No, not women. It was for any woman, not women. He put
his hand in the pocket of his coat and felt the bag. It felt like nylon.
He thought he should decide which woman he wanted.

He closed his eyes against the night and tried to think of all the
women. There were too many to think of at once, so he thought of them one
by one for a while. He remembered every woman he had wanted very much in
the past. He didn't want any one of them now very much. He thought of
movie stars and singers, but he had never wanted a movie star or singer very
much. Who, then? Maybe he was too tired to decide now.

He went into a bar and ordered a drink. The gin reminded him of a
woman he had loved a long time ago. She had been very cruel. He saw his
friend at the other end of the bar and he waved. He thought he must avoid
cruel women and tried to think of cruel women whom he knew. He only knew
one who might be cruel, he wasn't sure, and he was in no danger of wishing
for her. He liked her but he did not want her.

Probably it was not wise to think of what he did not want, but he
was a little afraid he would make a mistake. He looked at the bottles on
their tiers behind the bar. Some of them he knew and many he did not know.
They all shined in the dim red and blue light and all of them were
appealing. He wondered how many of them would be a mistake to drink. He
had no way of knowing without drinking from each one. There was not time or
money to drink from them each one.

He looked down into his gin. It was pink because of the splash of
bitters in it. He tried to think of the pink shoes on his bag, but he could
not. He carefully removed the bag from his pocket and unfolded it. The
pink shoes were very high-heeled and had straps where the heel would go.
There were also yellow skates with pink laces and wheels. He marveled for a
moment that the bag had not become wrinkled at all from being folded in his
pocket. He supposed it might be a property of all magic bags. He had no
experience. He folded the bag and replaced it in his pocket.

His friend down the bar was talking with two women and he considered
going to join them. What if one of them were the one he should choose?
Well, he didn't know how to use the bag, so he probably couldn't make a
mistake with it yet. He picked up his drink and walked to his friend and
the two women.

His friend introduced them. He saw that all three of them were
finishing their drinks, so he bought them more and they thanked him. They
had been discussing a sporting match and he did his best to join in the
conversation, but he did not care about the match. He kept thinking about
the bag in his pocket and he looked at the women, trying to see if he should
choose either of them. He couldn't see, but the trying unsettled something
in him. He decided to go outside into the air. He smiled and they smiled
as he took his leave of them.

Outside the bar was a bench. He sat on it, thinking he must choose
a woman he knew, so that he would not make a mistake in ignorance. He
looked down at the sidewalk, thinking in turn of each woman he knew. There
were a few he thought were excellent women, so he thought specifically of
them and tried to compare them. He felt unease similar to that he had felt
inside the bar. He hoped that it was only because he was tired and that he
would be able to think more clearly after sleeping.

Blue shoes appeared on the sidewalk under his eyes and he looked up
to see one of the women from the bar. You are lost in thought, she said.
He laughed a little and told her he was trying to avoid becoming lost but
that it was difficult just now.
Angels, Devils, and Men:
The first forgets,
The third regrets,
and the second has all of the fun.

--Analytics of Five

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