I'm stuck with the task of packing right now. It's the one part of the travelling process where I feel so terribly uncool. I wish I could pack as lightly as Joan Didion as shown from this excerpt from her book The White Album.
To Pack and Wear:
2 jerseys or leotards
1 pullover sweater
2 pair shoes
nightgown, robe slippers
bag with: shampoo, toothbrush and paste, Basis soap, razor, deodorant, aspirin, prescriptions, Tampax, face cream, powder, baby oil
2 legal pads and pens
This is a list which was taped inside my closet door in Hollywood during those years when I was reporting more or less steadily. The list enabled me to pack, without thinking, for any piece I was likely to do. Notice the deliberate anonymity of costume: in a skirt, a leotard, and stockings, I could pass on either side of the culture. Notice the mohair throw for trunk-line flights (i.e. no blankets) and for the motel room in which the air conditioning could not be turned off. Notice the bourbon for the same motel room. Notice the typewriter for the airport, coming home: the idea was to turn in the Hertz car, check in, find an empty bench, and start typing the day’s notes.
See what I mean? It is a highly romantic and insouciant ideal of course. Maybe it's just that Joan packs bourbon and a typewriter...
The last few days I have been constantly thinking of New York. The cramped sidewalks. The chilled shade standing in the shadow of a skyscraper. I can feel the adrenaline of impending adventure kicking in. I know deep in my bones that I'm going to figure something out walking along those streets. I hope that the sun shines bright when I'm there.