If you had to bring three things with you to be trapped on a deserted island, what would you bring?
I was technically on the same island. I just moved South a little bit. From Edinburgh to a tiny hamlet not quite within eyesight of London, I faced a dilemma that I’ve run from for many, many years.
Perhaps I learned it from my mother, this desperate need to feel independent and aloof. To be self-sufficient and mobile. Just because I’ve put my suitcase down does not mean that I haven’t bought my next one way ticket.
But moving is more expensive than anticipated, and I haven’t felt so trapped in years.
I once wrote a check for forty two cents because I didn’t have enough cash for a postage stamp. I saved every penny my senior year of college and left Seattle. Driving until the Atlantic stopped me from going farther. I put my belongings in a 200 square foot apartment in Connecticut, and got myself a job. I swore to myself I would never be limited like that ever again. I would work hard to maintain my independence. My ability to feel safe in any situation, and my ability to leave whenever I needed to. My car was my home in that sense, and freedom was a full tank of gas.
But now I’m stuck on an island with a population roughly the same size as California, hoping desperately that someone will be ironic enough to employ me. I spend my time nursing glasses of water in the local Starbucks, and haunting every section of the library that doesn’t have to do with “The Great War” (which leaves me with approximately thirty books, if I’m being generous).
I have a very small two figure amont of money in my bank account, I’m starting a new course at international student tuition rates, and I’m trying desperately to keep the dream of living abroad alive, for as long as I can.
A friend visited me last week, one of my dearest. I asked him how it felt to be living abroad in Paris. I asked him if he missed being home. He looked me in the eye and said, “I thought that’s what I came out here to find.”
If I was trapped on a deserted island and I could only bring three things; I would bring my Lapsley record, a coy of Infinite Jest, and a picture of my son. I’m coming home eventually baby. I just gotta figure out how to get there.