In five days I will be on my way to Hong Kong, and from there I will fly to my final destination- Bangkok. Two giant suitcases occupy too much space in my room, and not enough of my belongings occupy the space within them. My stuff is thrown everywhere, in a chaotic way that is organized only for me. Packing clothes has been the easy part. It’s going to be brutally hot, so I’m more or less planning for yearlong summer. Which, in reality, isn’t difficult considering I have a Southern California wardrobe. The part of packing that is difficult for me, are the things to take that are not clothes. I’ve packed my favorite art supplies in hopes of having more time than in college to spend developing my style. Everyone keeps telling me how living there is going to influence the things that I am interested in drawing/painting, and I can’t wait to see the subjects that appear in my work. I’ve also packed my favorite posters and prints to make my apartment more like home, but not too much like home.
This year in Thailand is a year for me to clear my head. Part of packing is the process of all the things I need to purposely leave behind. The cardboard stencil paintings I love, but that he made. The box of Nag Champa that releases the best smell when burned. The wicker ball lights that cast shadows all over the walls, the fiber optic glow in the dark night-light, and the journals.
I was planning to work on a book while there, and much of the writing I am pulling from are writings and ideas from the past. After skimming through notebooks today and yesterday, I realized that I am not ready to go back and read through our history just yet. Being able to cut about 8 journals out of my luggage helps with the weight limit, but it hurts the progress I could make writing. But the last thing I need are these notebooks strewn across my bedroom floor, filled with the written memories of the person that I am trying, unsuccessfully, to forget. The first time his name ever appeared in my writing was February 8, 2009 and ever since then his presence has been overwhelming. Reflection, confessions and thoughts about him have occupied my mind for over three years. Going back and reading the first few months of our time together was like a self administered slap in the face. A reminder of the first instant connection I’ve ever had with a person. A comfort that existed that often takes years to build.
So the difficulty in packing has really come from making sure I don’t pack a list of specific items, rather than the inverse, which is how normal people function. Every object that makes it with me to Thailand has to be detached from him, so that I may be too.
I saw this quote the other day that said, “you never really fall out of love with your first love.”