62 Pounds

At first, 62 pounds seems like a lot.

I’m thinking about this because 62 pounds is how much my luggage weighs. I know it for sure. I put the suitcase on the bathroom scale, and the readout was 44. I then tested my backpack. There’s another 18. Total: 62 pounds.

As I fly east over the heart of America, 62 pounds is the sum weight of everything I own: shirts, socks, flashlight, camera, laptop, and phone. Items at home in the closet doesn’t matter. They can’t help me here.

It’s a weird feeling having everything you think you need in two stylish containers with padded grips. I think about such things when I walk by the man curled up behind the Radio Shack. His stuffed shopping cart of indistinguishable content is at his feet. For someone sleeping on the concrete, he looks content. Is it because he believes he has everything he needs?

I’m probably wrong about this.

In my case, however, it’s true. I’m ready for anything. Rain? I reach for my compact umbrella and Eddie Bauer hiking jacket (thanks dear!) Medical misadventure? My personal first aid kit is fully stocked. Amazing photo op? You know I have cameras.

In this light, 44 plus 18 doesn’t seem like much. New cities, new adventures. And with fingers tightly curled around each handle, me and my 62 pounds

are ready for the world.