The Things They Carried
When I packed my car to evacuate for this hurricane, I was really just going through the motions. I've done this so many times before, it's easy to be rote about it. I dumped in the kids' albuterol and breathing machine in case of bronchiolitis. I tossed in the albums of their pre-digital camera baby pictures, a cross my father used to wear, the Mignon Faget necklace I got on my first Mother's Day (white seed pearls with tiny gold beads and a gold-flecked venetian glass pendant in the shape of a heart), my laptop, a few books, three books for the kids, pillows, some clothing, one par of pajamas each, matcbox cars and lincoln logs, a few costume pieces for the kids to play dress up. I was wearing flip flops, and those are the only shoes I have with me. I forgot Sam's new shoes. I forgot to bring stuffed animals, insurance papers, a picture of m great-grandmother in drag, long pants for any of the kids. I only left out a few days of food for my cats. I didn't bring a toothbrush or a pen. I didn't put tape over the windows or cover the new sofa, or try to move furniture over the windows. I just left. I even left Bryan at home, in case the storm turned, because he is no fan of evacuation. I didn't mail any of my bills or the printer ready proof of my chapbook. I didn't water the orchids. I didn't do any of the things you might do when seing someplace for the last time. I didn't even look back.