My Tornado Bag.

  • Wearing: A T-shirt, jeans, and my Converse. You know it’s bad.
  • Eating: Toast and powdered sugar. Leftover from the best breakfast ever (thank you Victoria).
  • Listening to: Charlotte Gainsbourg. Very cool.

Speaking of perspective, guess who spent the past two weekends huddling on the bathroom floor, listening to the rise & fall, fall & rise of wailing siren calls, biting her nails & whispering fragmented prayers of concern?

You guessed it, cheri.

The first time it happened, I thought I was scared. When your dear little institution’s been half destroyed twice in 10 years, they’ve spotted an actual ‘nado not far out of town, & those sirens are all going off, you better believe I’m going fetal. Besides, they don’t have those where I come from. We get hurricanes, a month’s warning, & a few days of evacuation, good surf, & schools closing. This whole, found-out-five-minutes-ago-today-could-be-my-last drama doesn’t really fly with me.

So, when they told me to pack a tornado bag in preparation for the storm, I said “How big?”

I guess it tells a lot about a person, what does & does not make it in the bag. I’ve often wondered what would go in my tornado bag when the time came. As an avid fashion-follower, I wondered how I’d feel about leaving my clothes behind. What I wear is a large part of my being, or at least an expression of it. There are things in my closet that could never be replaced – from that pleated silk polka-dot skirt I traded my roommate a pair of Converse All Stars for, to my collection of mom’s belts from the ’80s – my wardrobe is an accumulation of years worth of one-of-a-kind finds, many per-chance thrift store treasures, some bought off the slick shelves of local & international boutiques, & some passed down the generations from beyond my grandmother, all the way to me, 2010. All that to say, while I recognize that clothes are not the end-all of my existence, mine hold perhaps an extra-special place.

However, when the sound of the sirens wafted under the cracks in my door & drifted, phantom-like, through the dollhouse walls of my dorm, I didn’t reach for that brand new formal wear I’ve been hording for “the right occasion.” I pulled on a pair of black denim jeans & an old tie-dyed tee. I sideswiped the strappy sandals I’d hate to see go for my once-white canvas low-tops.

So I guess I’m not so shallow after all, cheri. But more on that soon. I’m sorry, I’m sorry (!) I’ve been so awful at posting lately. I will be doing my best to catch up from here on.


Looking rough after an afternoon spent bunkered in the b-room.