I’d jammed my suitcase so full of Supplies for Any Eventuality I couldn’t lift it.
Heavy with pyjamas, heavy with paper. Heavy with clothing and outerwear options for all four seasons just in case summer turned out not really to be summer at all but a mixture. All rolled up tight like densely packed sausages. Heavy with materials, heavy with my lucky art shoes. Heavy with unrealistic expectations, maybe. Sounds like me.
Garry heaved the suitcase downstairs and into the boot of the car for me.
Following a few moments of awkward hovering around, shuffling from foot to foot on the pavement beside us, the taxi driver seemed to sense this goodbye was a significant one and so sloped back into the driver’s seat and closed the door gently behind him. So nervous now that my knees were hot, I hugged my husband tight and asked him one more time.
‘What am I doing? What am I doing?’.
‘You’re going on an adventure’, he said.
I wondered for a minute whether, on account of the emotional farewell, the taxi driver might think I was travelling to a private clinic to be euthanised. That was, until I realised I’d gotten Sweden and Switzerland mixed up and before I questioned what kind of person would travel to the euthansia clinic with a suitcase this size.
I catch myself imagining this scene in my movie. There’d be a pithy voiceover.
After I let go of Garry’s neck and promised to stay in touch when I could, I climbed into the back of the car and let out an involuntary noise that landed somewhere between a very loud sigh, a tearful cough and an excitable sort of whoot.
‘Are we ready, my love?’ the taxi driver asked.
‘I think we are, yes’, I said. I was.