If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m melting. After a weekend in Salt Lake City and a quick trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats, coming back to Mississippi has been… kind of gross, to be honest. I’d forgotten how nice it feels when it’s dry, dry, dry outside.
I’m packing up the last of my stuff, having given away most of it, — there’s only so much you can fit into two suitcases and a carry-on, and why on earth is there NO INTERNATIONAL BOOK-RATE?! So about a hundred books now have a new home / are on their way to one.
Packing up and reducing pretty much a life (well, the past 4 years) has been exhausting, but also somehow liberating. In many ways, I imagine that’s what it feels like taking care of a deceased person’s possessions; somehow most of the things are at once emotionally charged (‘keepers’) and worthless. What to do with all the cards people have given / sent, the trinkets picked up over time, and most of all, the many, many, heavy books?
I meant to give a lot of the books (and some other stuff) to the local homeless shelter, but they never responded to my email whether they wanted them or not, so some of the things went to the women’s shelter and most books to a friend who’ll use them for book exchanges (like the one where I picked up American Son). That way, hopefully, the books will end up being read and enjoyed. Other friends also picked through the boxes of books and found things they liked. I gave away my (nearly complete!) collections of Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine — very heavy, and (hopefully) fairly inexpensive to replace once I know where I’ll be for the next while.
My flight is Wednesday. I’m not looking forward to the trip, because I’ll have a heavy carry-on and two very heavy suitcases (I gave away most of my clothes so I could fit in more books!), and well, flying used to be more fun when the seats had a little more space and people were a little less paranoid. All the security checks, the standing in line to take off your shoes, have yourself scanned, have your carry-on scanned, and possibly get patted down as well… not really my cup of tea. At least I won’t have to deal with Immigration officers this time around. That takes even longer, and no matter how perfectly harmless and within the law you are, somehow these guys manage to make you feel worried you might be a criminal after all. Ha! 🙂
I’ll be honest and admit I’m worried about going back. I already miss workshop, face-to-face contact with other writers, conversations with other book-nuts and poetry-macadamias. I’ll miss the access to all the library databases that I got through the university. I also miss work — I’m working on that. A bunch of applications are out already, and I’ll send out more before the month is up.