You can never take them out

The problem with sticking two chemlights into loops on your backpack, and carrying them around with you as you go about your life, is that you can never take them out.

It's not that you "need" them, exactly. You didn't buy them to fill some specific void in your life. They were just on sale at that surplus store in Buffalo, and so you bought them on a mil-spec, cammo-covered lark.

And when you brought them home you put them in the drawer along with the rest of your flotsam. But they seemed somehow ridiculous sitting within inches of their idiot cousins, the free LED flashlights from the hardware store you got with promotional coupons. Not that the chemlights were suffering from some sort inferiority, but more like it was a tableau that implied an unsophistication in your thinking regarding the problems of darkness.

So you took them out of the drawer, and you slid them into the MOLLE webbing which covers the outside of the ridiculous-looking military-style backpack you bought from China. They fit perfectly of course; the MOLLE spec was written with the understanding that chemlights were one of the things it was intended to hold. And the perfection of the fit confirmed (at least for a while) the wisdom of your decision, as if the universe were patting you on the back, instead of pissing on it, for a change.

Some months pass, and you find yourself in more and more situations where a grown man walking around with chemlights (not even "Glowsticks" but wrapped, mil-spec chemlights) sticking out of his drab-green backpack like antennas broadcasting his insecurity, well it just doesn't sit within the bounds of gentleman-like sartoriality.

So you say, "I'll just take them out." And put them where? Into the backpack itself? Maybe, but having a bag full of detritus is one of the reasons you bought this zippered-strapped-and-pocketed monstrosity in the first place. And isn't having an empty MOLLE grid kind of like admitting that you don't actually need it, and in fact made an expensive mistake in purchasing it?

You could always put them back into the drawer, but as you'd argued your first time around, the odds of being near that drawer when you need illumination and for a flashlight to not fill that need, are very low indeed. If you ever do need these things, it's going to be for some unexpected and extemporaneous purpose.

And furthermore, to take the specific step to change the carry-pattern of these lights is to imply that your world has changed somehow with regards to the manner or likelihood of their use, and that's simply not true. The world is the same; you go to all the same places and do all the same things. It's just that now something has made you decide to feel bad about being prepared. And you can't let that feeling win, or you don't deserve to be carrying fake-army man-bags.

So you're trapped, in a web whose strands are preparation, insecurity, fear, forethought, masculinity, and fashion. And this is where your freedom dies, cocooned by the past faulty actions of a flawed so-called adult.

Welcome to the jungle of your mid-thirties.

Stop doing your "best"

Never buy me a new book