Better on a Camel

ba carry on bag

it’s tuesday, May 2nd @ 4am

started packing up the upstairs floor yesterday

finished the den, the guest bedroom, and the linen closet

the records of the signicant events of my parents life now fit in a small British Airways (once known, pre ‘74, as the British Overseas Airways Corporation, or BOAC, jocularly referred to as better on a camel, in Cairo in the 60s) carry-on bag

i will take it back to fla with me next week, though i was merciless in boxing up the bulk of the flotsam and jetsam of a life that once shone brilliantly under the African sun and ended without fanfare on a raw October afternoon in New York, as it happens, at 4PM, the same hour of death as her father

today i will pack up what is left of Mum’s effects in her bedroom

and tomorrow the luggers will come to take away the 20 or so boxes that contain most of the “loose stuff” in the house that formed the fabric of my English mum’s life

mum’s house will suddenly seem significantly emptier by noon tomorrow and then i will drive to pelham — where my wife and i lived in an apartment once — to get a haircut

on thursday we go to see the lawyer in eastchester to sign all the documents needed for the closing

then on friday the furniture movers arrive and when they are done mum’s house will be completely empty

it will be as if she never lived here

the bedu had it right

it is usually better to travel light and move from place to place, instead of fostering the illusion of permanence on a desert landscape of shifting sand

in effect, it is better on a camel


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