Pack Rat

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of cat like a suitcase being pulled out of the closet. Its appearance can mean only two things, both more or less unpleasant. He may be stuffed into his loathed cat carrier and dumped unceremoniously with his mean Uncle Seamus*, who doesn’t let the cat interrupt his sleep or claw his leather recliner or do anything else fun. Or, even worse, he’ll be jammed into the reviled carrier and brought to that horrible crowded place where he’ll spend forever waiting in lines, get manhandled at security, and then be forced to spend hours and hours and hours in a noisy tin can with no leg room. (Jabberwocky and I have similar feelings on air travel.) It’s the lesser of two evils in this case, not that that makes it okay.

I am much happier than he is to have the suitcase out, though deciding how best to fill it is turning out to be a bit of a challenge. I am trying to pack for a travel itinerary that will require a bikini, a parka, and just about everything in between. T-shirts and sweaters. Heels and hiking boots. I will need clothes to ride horses in and clothes to wear to fancy restaurants. Clothes for clubbing and clothes for spelunking. And since I don’t yet have a lot of necessary pieces (not much call for ski pants in Conakry), there needs to be plenty of space left over to accommodate new acquisitions. It’s like fashion Tetris, and it reminds me why I hate fashion in the first place. However, attempting to pull together 3 cubic feet’s worth of flexible travel outfits out of my pathetic excuse for a wardrobe is as good a way as any to pass the time until I can finally, joyfully, get in that noisy tin can with no leg room and go home. THREE DAYS. Can’t wait.

*Not his real name, but he picked it out.