For the past two weeks, you have been at a creative writing retreat at your alma mater, St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The time spent was very productive. New stories written. Old ones revised. New friends made. Old connections reunited. But the time has come to depart.
As you close your first suitcase and return to the closet to grab more of your things, you notice that it seems to be… larger than before? And you don’t really recognize all of the items as your possessions. You shrug; you must have picked up at least a couple of small gifts and mementos over the past two weeks. You just hadn’t thought it to be that many.
You turn around with an armload of your things to dump them into the second, open suitcase — except that you notice the first suitcase has some open and spilled its contents. And those contents don’t match your memory of what went into them in the first place. You dump your armload into the second suitcase and jam everything back into the first. You try to zip it shut but it’s difficult.
You turn back around to the closet again only to find that it has grown larger still. Taller. Wider. Deeper shelves. And while the shelves are not full, they are still more cluttered. Clothing. Trinkets. Bottles (empty and full). Piles of paper and notebooks. Some of them you recognize. Some are merely familiar. Other things are strange, unfamiliar, unwelcome. You go to grab more, feeling an urgent need to leave but feeling an equally urgent need not to leave anything of value behind. You grab items selectively, but quickly.
A sinking feeling washes over you as, once again, you turn to the suitcases and find them open and overflowing with unrecognizable objects.