Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Perils of Packing

So I started writing a thing about stars and how humans are fascinated with them, and then I decided it might be worth polishing up and submitting to somewhere, so I'm not publishing it here because then for sure nowhere will take it. Because even though I have, like, at most, five blog readers, it probably still counts as publishing something online. But if the place I have in mind doesn't take it and nowhere takes it, it'll probably go on here.

For today, since I'm packing up to go back to school, I give you:

The Perils of Packing
(Note: The following account is definitely not influenced by the author's own experiences whatsoever.)

You need to pack. You start to pack. You probably start to pack by spreading your belongings all over the place and deciding what to bring. You realize that you have WAY too many belongings. You realize that some of these will have to stay at home. But which ones? Do you bring these shoes or those shoes, or both? Will you really need these shoes that much? How much space do those shoes take up, really? Would it be worse to bring them and never wear them, or to want them and not have them?
You take a break from the stress of decision-making to make a cup of tea. While the tea is brewing, you click onto the internet to see what's happening. Oh, how exciting, you cry in raptures of joy, Rachel the College Student posted a new post! We must read it at once! Oh, let's read the rest of the internet too! It won't take long...
BLEEP BLEEPITY BLEEPERS, you forgot to take the teabag out of your tea. It is now a very strong, very tepid cup of tea. Oh well, you think cheerfully, because you're a much nicer person than I am, It doesn't matter; I'll drink it like iced tea. You suck it down as quickly as possible to avoid lingering over the nasty bitterness of too-strong tea, and rejoice that today you have not wasted tea, nor have you neglected to read all of the internet.
Oh, right, packing.
You get back to work, refreshed and relaxed and ready to go. Unfortunately, you realize that these spread-out belongings are not all of your belongings, because you have a whole basket of unwashed laundry as well. Not to be discouraged, you start a load of laundry. Maybe you'll have to bring two suitcases instead of just one. It's not that big of a deal, really.
You pull your suitcases out from wherever they have been all summer (which, if you're like me, is on the floor in a corner, full of clothes you never really unpacked, but rather wore and washed and put back in the suitcase, or perhaps didn't even wear, but you're not like me) and you empty every single leftover item out of them, like that pair of socks you forgot you owned and maybe a financial aid statement or six, and then you tip them over and shake out all the little dust bunnies and cat hairs and crumbs that mysteriously collect in suitcases, and NOW you really feel ready to pack!
But now you're hungry. You eat. You eat some more. You drink water. Maybe you make more tea and remember to brew it properly this time. You realize that they've added more to the internet lately, and if it doesn't get read right now it's just going to disappear and that would obviously be terrible. Finally, you get back to packing.
You fold your clothes neatly, manage to weed out a few things you want to leave behind or even get rid of entirely, and feel very accomplished as you place the rest in your suitcases. They look so nice and organized, and not crowded at all. How did that happen?
Oh yeah, that load of laundry. It's ready to go in the dryer now.
For an hour, you wait for the laundry to dry, while you make yourself useful arranging and rearranging all your books into Amazon boxes and wishing they fit more perfectly and lacking the commitment to tape any boxes shut in case you decide to add something else or rearrange them for the thousandth time.
You read even more of the internet, and eat more food, and decide to add in a few of those things you decided to leave behind, because it really would be awful to need them and not have them. Maybe you write a blog post. Maybe you text all your friends about how tired you are of packing and how excited you are to go back to school. Maybe you check your email for the eleventy-hundredth time to see if you got anything exciting like an orientation schedule or tracking info for a package you ordered for yourself because you definitely needed more stuff. (Actually, you just wanted the Amazon boxes to pack stuff in the next time, and the feeling that someone cares about you enough to send you a package, even if the someone is you. But also you needed a cute backpack or something, for sure.)
When the laundry finishes drying, you take it out and it's all fluffy and warm and clean and aaaahhhh how about a nap?
No, no, you're packing. You actually are packing.
Hey look, the mail came! It's liking checking email, but even better!
Nothing exciting. PACKING.
Oh, a text from a friend. She's tired of packing too. She's also excited to go back. She had her wisdom teeth out. It hurt. You'll have to have yours out soon, so you better tell her that. And maybe take a picture of how much packing you've done and send that too. And THEN you'll finish packing.
Finally, at long last, when the day is nearly done and the sun is setting in the western sky, you have packed up everything--the clothes, these shoes and those shoes, the clean laundry. You squeezed in all your jewelry boxes and movies and hair clips and more shoes and even your computer and charging cables and everything. You even found the courage to tape shut those boxes, because you're DONE! You even got ALL of your clothes in there, every single piece!
And then the realization hits you, hard, somewhere around the small intestine, that you did not get all your clothes in there, because you are wearing some of them.
You can't take them off to put them in your suitcase because then you'd be wearing no clothes and also dirty clothes would be in your suitcase. So you'll have to keep them out for tomorrow. But you won't want to wear what you're wearing now tomorrow while you're traveling, you'll want to wear something cute and comfy that currently resides in the very bottom of your suitcase. Those words you were saying about your tea earlier? You're saying them again. You also just remembered that your toothbrush and hairbrush and stuff will have to go in after you use them tomorrow morning, and you'll have to wear those shoes tomorrow too, or maybe these shoes, and what if you want a book to read on the way, it might as well be one of your school books so you can get ahead, but they're all packed up in boxes. TAPED boxes.
Oh, well. Such is life. And there's always more internet to read.

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