I’m staring at two suitcases. Two suitcases that must contain my life in 100 lbs or less.
What do I take? I asked Haley.
Nothing? Hmmm, nothing. Leave it all behind. The poetry about the love of my life when I was 17. The letters from the love of my life when I was 19. The necklaces from the love of my life when I was 22. The box that contains them all, and the key that locks it. An unassuming wooden painted box my mom gave me as a side gift one Christmas. These items weigh a total of 1 pound. That seems so light.
I want my whole bookshelf. Including the bookshelf. I don’t think I’m going to win that one. So Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is coming. The one I bought at 9 in a bookstore in London that doesn’t even have any artwork on the cover because the book was still a nothing written by a nobody at the time suggested to me by the owner who recognized my love of fantasy. The Outsiders is coming. A few books from college courses that “totally blew my mind, and, like, changed my life” are coming. But my childhood copy of the Anne of Green Gables series will stay.
My bedroom is so densely packed with me. Living here, sleeping here, can be oppressive. Leave it all behind. The road sign to my street stolen at 16 with Rose. The paintings purchased in Paris with Ann. Shot glasses and dried roses. Stuffed animals and scrapbooks. Tickets, so many tickets, to first-date movies and first drunken concerts and trips to everywhere. My first scrapbook, started at 12 and finished at 18, weighs 2.5 pounds all on its own. My wall atlas. My wall atlas probably weighs one ounce. It also bears the weight of my most outlandish dreams. My wall atlas is everything I’ve been, and everything I want to be. My Zac Efron Link Larkin Hairspray poster. Let them go. The past is too heavy to pack on a flight.