Friday, August 10, 2012

Raining on My Parade

            It’s scary how easy it is to pack everything in two suitcases. For the better part of a week I’d been dreading piling things up and pushing them into their coffins of convenience for the flight back to Korea.[1] There was simply too much—I knew it would never all fit, that it would be impossible to stuff my life of the last couple months  into as many bags (fifty pounds or less). I would have to cull a few books from the packing list, or maybe leave a beloved sweatshirt behind to loiter in my room until I got back.
            Packing is my nemesis, my Captain Hammer if you will. I hate the hard choices—I want all of those books with me all the time! I want that stupid t-shirt I only wear when it’s frigid and I’m eating cookies in my cookie pants (which I also want to bring, even though Korea is lacks many cookies). It had to be done—but I knew it would undoubtedly be difficult.
            After a relaxing hour of watching Avatar the Last Airbender and completing the early stages of packing, it was clear I had over-estimated how hard it is to put one’s life in a suitcase. Obviously I had to leave the beagle behind (woe!) and my parents have lives to live that aren’t in Korea, but still. It should have been harder. I should have had to spend days—or at least an all-nighter, since I never pack more than 24 hours in advance—to figure things out. I should have been reviewing the past weeks, sifting through experiences and thoughts and memories and getting ready to move on.
            It was raining when I left, as we drove out of the driveway. Some people think rain at the beginning of the trip is a bad omen, or at the very least not in the proper spirit of trip-making. I see their point, rather like how some people say you aren’t supposed to cry when someone leaves because the last way they see you and how they remember you ought to be smiling. I like that idea. My family would fit in well in that kind of tradition, not because of the belief, but because we’re simply not criers.
            That’s why I like it when it rains at the beginning of a trip. Sure it makes logistics less nice and sometimes fouls up your hair or gets in your socks. But my parents and I don’t cry when we separate. We—like the packing, which of course shouldn’t take days—are logical like that. But the rain has other priorities. Lacking a vocabulary and the practicality to know that barring freakish misfortune reunion is inevitable—the sky is right to rain.

[1] And I really do mean coffin. The twinkies barely made it and the grits were mangled something fierce.

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