The other day I scheduled a flight to the US. I know I’ll only be there for a short time. I know I’ll be back in Ireland soon. But I really don’t want to go. There’s too much to do, too much to see, so much to be where I am now. And not enough time.
It’ll be a short trip. Just enough time to sell my truck, take care of my taxes and clear my storage locker. Do you know that all the kitchen stuff I never used takes up more room not being used in storage than not being used in a kitchen? Blame it on the padded packing. I hope someone else gets more use from the things than I did. Ditto for the bed, dining room set and a few unique lamps. Everything else has been a long time gone.
What’ll be left that will cost me money to keep?
Well first, there are all the tax-law mandated files from a lifetime of mostly self-employment. Sure they’re scanned onto a couple of backup drives. And just as surely we’ve all experienced crashes and software obsolescence. Paper survives. [And the fact that I’m keeping these files means I’ll never need them.]
Most of my serious camping gear is already gone. Did I tell you about the response to my Craigslist ad for my backpack from a Colorado resident who wanted to trade me weed for it? My collection of tools from years of house rehabbing has already been pared to a minimum – and I’ll probably stumble across a few more things that will find their way to a local theatre company’s shop.
I’ll keep a few boxes of books written by my friends, talismans of wonderful words and thoughts from even more wonderful people. You know who you are and I hope you know how much you mean to me. Oh yes, and some of my own artwork and prints. I don’t know if I can bear to say goodbye to those pieces of me just yet. The size of the smallest available storage closet will be the final determinant of how much I’ll winnow from my life. Two years living from a duffle proves I don’t really need much.
And that’s about it.
I don’t know if each disposal will be cause for celebration or wistfulness. After all, this is the final stage of a process that began a while back. What’s left now are the pieces that I thought I might need if I ever returned to the US. They’ll be the first and easiest to say goodbye to. The rest? Tied to memories. The good, bad and in-between parts of living life in a human body in today’s world.
When I’m done, I’ll catch another plane, with another one-way ticket. It’ll be a quiet celebration, starting at liftoff and looking out the window over a dark ocean. That jet-lagged morning-after will be my wake-up call for my newest life.
I’ll be coming home.