Bags and Boxes
Posted by Nicole Forcine
In my book, This Little Whatever, my main character Jonathan owns a huge Army style canvass duffel bag that he carries everything that is important to him. Clothes, toiletries, shoes, costumes, tackle box full of metal rings and pliers (he’s an eccentric fellow), everything, neatly folded and bagged. Unless he’s partying, it’s not far from reach. It’s his entire world, and it fits on his back. He lives his life surrounded by people and friends and fun, but he’s always ready to run at the first sign of trouble. It’s the way of his core group of friends. His “home” is portable.
Dean, on the other hand, lives in a small home on acres of land, miles from the nearest city. Alone. Social anxiety and PSTD has kept him almost completely homebound, save for work and solo excursions, for years. It’s his sanctuary, the one place in the world where he feels safe. His “home” is permanent, but isolated.
In the book, both of these gents have to reconcile a lot about their definition of “home” in order to find what they need the most, love and each other. Jonathan’s bag is a metaphor for his trust, his heart; very few people can touch that bag and he’s constantly worried that someone will go into it and steal something. When Dean opens up his home for that one night stand, he’s literally letting someone into his heart, showing his own trust.
I didn’t even realize that sort of significance while I was writing TLW, and I hope everyone who reads it will see it too.