Living Out of a Suitcase

Imagine leaving. Leaving home. With a suitcase clutched firmly in your hands.

The only cords you have attaching you to everything you feel comfortable with fit into a convenient box you haul around. Your past life has become quite personified into a three-dimensional shape. It’s frightening to hold everything that you’ve ever felt comfortable with in your hands. And yet it’s freeing as well. For then you have the ability to simply let go and let it all trickle through your fingers into the unknown.

Forcing your mental cage into something that you can see and touch makes you realize just how big the world is and how many people are living in it. The freedom that living out of a suitcase brings is hard to describe. It enhances an attitude of indifference towards the daily decisions of life and yet packs a pungent punch of reality in it’s cloth compartments.

Packing a suitcase is sometimes like packing your worries away; knowing that you will unfold all of these troubles later as you fold up your shirts is a way to remain sane in this confusing world.

The ability to zip up the tangible representation of your home and comfortable life and leave it zipped up somewhere where it won’t follow you around is extremely refreshing.

It makes you feel alone in the world, but it allows you to open up your view of what the world actually is.

Living out of a suitcase is practical, forces one to prioritize, and frees one from cluttering thoughts.

It bequeaths one with a feeling of invincibility and an eager excitement for the world ahead.

It forges a path of new experiences, friendships, and thoughts.

Living this way shifts the focus off of oneself and onto others. It changes the view from possessions to experiences. From things to memories. From your own house to new places.

Living out of a suitcase makes you realize that we’re all in the same boat. We’re all actually lost and don’t have complete control over our lives.

We’re all trying.

We’re all breathing.

We’re all living out of a suitcase.

A Conversation in a Dark Place

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A telephone is lying on the floor in a dark room, half covered by shadows that seem to radiate from the walls themselves. It rings. It rings again. No one picks up. Finally, a teenage girl stomps madly into the room and picks up the telephone. A pause as she listens to the voice on the other end. “Yes, I know I’m ignoring you!” She exclaims angrily. A pause. The girl hesitates, then answers, “Yes, I know I’m procrastinating.” The voice on the other end whispers something barely audible. The girl looks confused. “No of course I haven’t forgotten you.” She answers almost scornfully. After another pause, the girl blurts out a rushed explanation: “Yes, I know. I was going to do that, but I just don’t have time… anymore.” As the girl listens to the telephone, she slides down the wall into a sitting position. Her hair hangs from her head like a segmented waterfall. “Well I don’t know, I… Well, I honestly don’t want to do it.” A pause. “Well yeah, I used to, but Dad, I’m in high school now. My schedule is busy! You can’t just expect me to…” The man on the phone cuts the girl off before she’s able to finish. After a moment, the girl is able to get a word in.”Okay, but can I just say something? I have a lot of homework, so I’m really busy, plus I just don’t like going there. I hate that place!” A pause. The girl purses her lips. Words begin to pour out of her mouth before she’s able to think. “I don’t really know why…”

It’s as if her brain has deserted her at that moment.

“I just…” exasperated, her voice cracks. “I don’t like going there, okay? They just make me feel terrible! Not like they’re being mean or anything, but I…” The girl pauses as she brings her hand to her forehead and closes her eyes. Close to tears, she continues. “I just-I can’t explain it. I hate going there. I’d rather do anything else.” She shakes her head, her eyes still squeezed tightly shut. “But, I don’t know, it’s probably just me.” As if she’s made up her mind, the girl’s tears stop halfway down her cheek, suspended by the fragile, shiny trails on her face. “It’s just me. I’m just being selfish and acting like an annoying little kid. It’s just me. I’m sorry. I’ll do it.” The girl wipes away her tears with her sleeve. She has stopped listening to the other end.

It’s as if her ears have deserted her at that moment.

Staring meaninglessly into space, she hangs up and carefully places the telephone back onto the floor. When she is about to open the door to leave, the telephone starts ringing again. Her fingers freeze, poised delicately over the intricate door handle. She glances over her shoulder at the telephone lying on the ground.

The telephone rings again.

She hesitates.

Then, without another thought, she quickly exits the room and closes the door behind her.

The telephone rings. It rings again.

No one picks up.