The Tale of the Stolen Backpack

I’ve been spending my time between Seattle & Tacoma for the last month, and I’m flying home at the end of the weekend. A midnight flight – I’m unsure if I should sleep on the flight(s) & chug free coffee, or sleep. Sleep is probably best. I’ll be transferring once, and then taking the Megabus to Toronto from the Buffalo airport.

The worst thing happened. Not the worst thing, but a pretty terrible, complicated thing. Somebody stole my backpack from my friend’s porch. I’d left it there for about half an hour while I came inside to tidy up. When I went back out, my backpack was gone, but my copy of Volume II of Anaïs Nin’s diaries had been left behind. I tried to convince myself that I had brought my backpack in after all, and I searched the house for it, looking under all the zines & blankets & books & clothes. Nope. Gone.

The first thing I thought of was my diary. I’d brought an empty notebook with me (crossing the border with evidence of your weirdness isn’t the safest, so I travel with empty notebooks these days), and filled it up with stories, pressed flowers, hand-drawn maps, quick sketches of the fancy sodas I’d been drinking, etc. I’d also been carrying a deck of travel-size Tarot cards, a chunk of amethyst Neelybat gave me upon my arrival, a book by Pema Chödrön, a bunch of purple pencil crayons & Sharpies, a letter I was writing for my sweetheart, 20 postage stamps, two new sets of postcards, my address book, and, of course, my fucking psych meds. And my passport.

My $30 backpack with all these things tucked inside to keep me safe, is now gonna cost me about $1500-$2000, what with applying for a replacement passport, throwing out a non-refundable plane ticket, buying a new plane ticket & bus ticket, getting to my doctor when I get back home and getting new meds, and all the other bullshit that comes along with having your stuff taken away while you’re on the road. Apparently I can cross the border back into Canada without my passport since I have a bunch of ID’s, but I can only do it by ground, not air, thus, the useless plane ticket, and the new one and the Megabus.

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Click the pictures to embiggen them. 1. Multiple varieties of lavender growing in Seattle. 2. Marilyn Monroe graffiti. 3. Courtney Love live.

Maybe it’ll make a good story one day. But right now, I’m frustrated and broke and a little trapped. (I wrote this story about it on Craigslist, choosing to use incorrect pronouns for reasons of safety, though it’s mostly garnered offers of money for sex, and unintentionally condescending ‘everything will be okay’-type stuff from strangers.) Although I’d planned on taking a break from the whole blogging thing, from Etsy & social media & all the online stuff that actually makes me crazy, I’m returning for the time being in search of help & support.

Before my backpack was stolen, I made Little Acorns #7, my annual 24-hour zine thing. It’s written in the form of a letter to a friend, kind of a small document of my current depression which was partly triggered by changing friendships and the woes of being treated differently by folks after (self-)publishing my books. It’s about feeling constantly disappointed with friendships & with myself, my attempt to survive age 27, identifying as broke-femme, shitty things riot grrrls & feminists have said to me, recovery, art, magic, etc. So, that’s available in my Etsy shop, as well as newer and not-so-new issues of Telegram, my first novel, and my zine anthology.

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1. Mend My Dress Press mug. 2. Hello Kitty pink hot chocolate & violet candy. 3. The coffee capital of the world.

I’ve re-opened my shop in hopes of being able to pay for my plane ticket(s), new passport, etc., while dealing with the consequences of my Springtime illegal eviction, setting up a new home, and all kinds of unexpected messes (which a Tarot reading told me about way back in February, though I didn’t know just how bad it was gonna get). But also, if you don’t want my zines, or you already have them, or you just wanna help me out without waiting for stuff to arrive in the mail, whatever, there’s also a ‘donate’ button on the right sidebar. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, whether by buying my stuff or sending a donation. Always immensely appreciated!

Stolenly Yours,

P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!

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