If my backpack had hands, it would sign autographs. It's not just a backpack anymore; it's an attachment to Melissa's shoulder, much like a child is an attachment to a hip. It came into my possession when I was still in high school. Looking at it, you would never guess that it's been to Alaska and back a few times, on float planes, on ferries, on jet boats, busses, hikes, and carried over 170 credits worth of college books.
The zipper isn't quite reliable anymore, but I've figured out the trick to it. The day I was walking down the hallway and I heard the unzipping before feeling the load on my back lighten up and heard all of my books crash to the floor was the day I thought I'd have to buy a new one. That was three years ago. The day this backpack dies is going to be like euthanizing my best friend. Well, maybe not that extreme, but pretty damn close.
This backpack has been my pillow on a few occasions. Christmas break 2004, I curled up with it on the floor of the SEATAC airport during a layover in the middle of the night. When I moved to Alaska, it rode shotgun. When I moved back from Alaska, it rode shotgun. All the rest of my belongings had to sit in the back, or worse yet, in the truck bed, but not the backpack. Next to my camera and guitar, the backpack would be one of the first things I would grab in a fire.
It's gone into the washing machine for a few emergency cleanings. Once after an explosion of conditioner on a flight. After returning from Belize it was caked in dirt, mud, and probably microscopic critters that fled the country on my back.
The backpack came with me to Italy. It came with me to Hayward and has been on countless pontoon rides holding my SPF 70 sunscreen and beach towel. It was with me in 2006 in Sayner when I smashed my finger in the car door. It carried my camera to the hospital when I went to meet my nephew Nolan for the first time. It has come to gigs with me and carried cords, mics, my song binder, and set list.
I think my backpack needs its own Facebook page and Twitter account. It's THAT amazing!