Anticipation and Hyper-Imagination


My impending journey to the airport haunts my hyperactive imagination—

You’re driving someplace you’ve never driven before with two overly-worried parents, crammed in the back of the car with your overstuffed backpack and suitcase so big you know it’s going to make you self conscious walking through the airport with all those people staring at you as you wander aimlessly under pressure of a deadline, knowing only that your time is ticking, dripping its fickle sands out of your hands to fall into the open air below the high wire on which you just barely balance, preparing to fall.  The high wire is always more difficult to cross than the bridge.

In the car, the pink and yellow afternoon light provides a fast-paced slide show, dappling your eyes with purple and gold blind spots which invert when you close your eyes.  Your hand squeezes your backpack’s left shoulder strap.  You can feel your sweat seeping through the fabric; soon you know it’ll be drenched.  Sure it’s heavy and bulky on your back, but you don’t feel bad about the backpack like you do about the suitcase.  If anything, your backpack is the only center of comfort in the whole world right now, besides the thought of your girlfriend overseas, awaiting your arrival.  Inside your backpack you have a schoolbook and a fun book, and a book for your girlfriend; you have your laptop with its memories and—for a moment your heart bursts and you almost explode as you fear you may have forgotten to pack your laptop charger, but then you remember it’s in there, tucked in the front pocket with your electric plug adapter and your phone charger and some other crap you can’t remember off the bat but know you’ll need—and your notebook with its dumb little poems and some white space for class notes.  Your backpack is your friend, and you feel confident in everything you’ve packed in it.  It’s a lot easier to pack a backpack than a suitcase.

You hate your suitcase.  It stares at you across the dirty beige backseat like a duplicitous jerkface.  What might it do?  It might abandon you for someone else overseas.  It might simply vanish.  You have no confidence concerning what you’ve packed in that godforsaken suitcase.  It’s probably too much stuff, because your parents always end up convincing you that you’ll need a crapton more stuff than you thought you’d need, and you’re never confident enough to object.  But it might, very possibly, not contain enough stuff.  Or maybe none of the right stuff.  Who knows.  You could be at a seedy pub in London, having some really interesting fish and chips, when, in an unanticipated turn of events, the fried fish comes back to life and eats you because somehow all the clothes you brought had the ability to awaken dead, vengeful fish, and maybe you had normal clothes that would’ve let you eat fish in peace, and you almost brought them, but because of the manipulative suitcase, you left the clothes at home, where you’ll never get to wear them again because you’re dead now, eaten by a zombie fish.


Am I packing the right stuff?

But it’s too late to go repack now.  Now you’re basically at the airport. Your parents are reminding you of all the ways you’ll probably die, your suitcase is intent on world domination, and you can’t even care anymore.  You’re just hoping you make it through customs and get to the plane on time.  London is where things will get good—

I’m just barely prepared for the future to be happening now.


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