I don’t know how many of you out there have an aversion to permanence, at least to the idea of permanence. I mean, forever is an illusion, right? When asked if I was back in Manila “for good,” I’ve always hedged with some kind of ambiguous response: “There’s no such thing, it’s only for good until it isn’t.”
Seven years sometimes felt like for good, but now my boxes are packed, shipped and should arrive in the port of San Francisco before Christmas. I imagine some customs officer X-raying the shipment, seeing ghost images of disassembled furniture, pots and pans, knickknacks, art supplies and god-knows-what-else jigsaw puzzled into one cubic meter of freight space. He might wonder why we even bothered spending good money on “used household effects,” the catchall phrase that strips one’s material possessions of all meaning and value.
What he won’t know is my excitement at the prospect of unpacking. What he won’t see is the weightless promise nestled in between my husband’s art toys and my pile of unread books. What he won’t appreciate is the home that is itching to be reassembled, rearranged, and reformed. What especially won’t show up on his manifest are the lasting friendships that have also hitched a ride on this transpacific voyage…free of charge.
I’m going back to California!
Yeah, this time, for good.