They called him the bag man. He didn’t carry trash bags or push a shopping cart. He didn’t live on the streets. Where his next meal was going to come from was never a question. He dressed nicely, had a roof over his head and people who he loved and who loved him in return. His work was steady and fulfilling. Money was not a problem. They called him the bag man because he always had bags under his eyes. Sometimes barely visible, sometimes they were deep and dark and hanging so low they seemed capable of falling off his face, but they were always, always, visible.
He knew about his bags, the lines and circles and smudges of color, under his eyes. When they had first appeared years before he had worn them as badges of honor. Then he had grown embarrassed of them but had been unable to resolve the underlying issues that created them. Then he had accepted them as part of who he was, not quite the badge of honor he had once seen them as but more like a sign of who he had become, who he was.
So it was, day after day, he carried his bags with neither pride nor regret. He went about his life and those around him, behind his back, from the shadows, called him the bag man.