The luggage

The world started to get boring, and then I remembered the day before my grandmother died.

She was in her hospice bed, unconscious for several days, when she opened her eyes and looked at us. We yelled, “Grandma, grandma,” but her only murky eyes showed signs of life. Then she asked to be carried into the living room, so I lifted her fragile body and tried to hold her, but she was slipped. Before I could panic, though, she reached up with both arms and held surprisingly tight to my neck. We made it to the living room chair, just barely.

Then she talked about something — I don’t remember what; I just remember her voice. And then she wanted to go back to bed. So again she held tight to my neck, and again we barely made it to our destination. I plopped her down and she breathed heavily, her protruding chest growing and shrinking with great range.

And that’s when she asked for the luggage. She pointed next to her bed — where her luggage apparently was — and insisted we help her get it, because she was going to be late; she had to go to the airport. She said, I have to go now. It’s time.

She died the next day.

It’s been several years, but I still don’t know what to make of her invisible luggage. I don’t know what was going through her mind, or what chemicals were passing through her brain or what cosmic forced were at work. I’m not sure it matters, though, in the same way it doesn’t matter how much paint was used on the ceiling Sistine Chapel; it only matters that it makes you weak in the knees.

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