Admittedly this is my second last day in the past few weeks. My family are big fans of moving tickets. United Airlines hates me. Still, it has come round again and I do not like it. The lastiness of it. Last swim here. Last muffin there. Last sunset, palm tree, shell, beach walk and rain drop. Although I am headed to a place that is very keen on raindrops. But fresh, warm Hawaiian rain smells lushly of palm trees and plumeria and seawater.
Today will be a day of hugs, kisses, goodbyes and forgetting stuff. Last year I left the mainland shoes that I meant to pack last, sitting on my front porch. They sat there for a month before the UPS man found the front door open and popped them inside--I love Hawaii. The year before that it was my favorite bikini, my sunglasses and my book--all left on top of the car in the garage.
I hate when I forget my my book. I feel like Linus does about his blanket about my book when I travel. I usually choose a beloved book that I have already read to take with me on the plane. One that is softened by reading in the rain and stuffed with phone numbers and movie ticket stubs. In the context of airports and baggage claims and Cinnabon, I want to read a familiar landscape. It the life that proves continuous as I zip over the oceans.
My book does not care that I have crossed seventeen time zones and cannot see straight. It marches along its prescribed trajectory in a wonderfully predictable old friend telling a story you have heard a million times before but love anyway kind of way. This time it is Pat Conroy's Beach Music. It is a vast, teeming giant of a book. It speaks enormously of home and love and friendship and selves loved, lost and found again only filed under another name. It is woven on a huge, finely wrought loom. It will be a lovely place to live on my last day.