Weight Limit

You’re unpacking all the clothes I’ve seen you wear since I’ve known you. All sixty-six pounds of linen, leather, and jean that you somehow managed to fit into your suitcase. Every pound of which cost me an additional $10 for being over the weight limit, and it was a painful sixteen pounds over.

I asked if you squeezed your house into the bag. You laughed…because it’s true. You packed your life into that gray suitcase, every single article of clothing and memory it comes with, and now, you’re tucking them into a closet that lives 4,000 miles, sorry, 6,000 kilometers, away.

The black and white striped sweater that is mandatory for every Spaniard (like the “hhh” sound at the beginning of “jamón”). The first time I saw you wear it, you were walking to class, unbeknownst that I was lurking behind you. Ten meters separated us from two years of love and misery. If I knew then what I know now, I may have skipped class that day. But I didn’t. I trailed you, despite your accelerated pace, and eventually caught up. We entered class separately, but left together, albeit a couple of months later.

The thicker black and white striped sweater – with a turtleneck to differentiate it from the rest. You take it on every trip. I remember getting caught in the rain in my first trip to Spain. We were reenacting the Anakin and Padme scene at the Plaza of España when the Gods, or The Force, decided to rain down on us. No umbrella was packed that day (you only bring umbrellas when they’re not necessary). We shared cliché kiss, and then walked thirty-five minutes back to shelter, getting pelted by beads of water and wishing the turtleneck was a hoodie. It was utterly useless. Your eyeliner flowed down your face and nestled on your cheeks like a racoon.

The beige trench coat that is also a must have on vacations. It has now graced the cities of New Orleans, DC, and Chicago. You look like Inspector Gadget, so at least the cities are safer while you visit them.

The short dark brown dress that ties around your neck like a fishhook. You wore it to our first graduation ceremony. It’s a crime against humanity that I let the faculty cover it up with the hideous bright pink gown.

The tight black sleeveless dress you wore to what will most likely be the last concert you’ll see me play at. Fortunately, it lives on in more than my memory or music (it takes Gio years to record vocals), it’s featured in the one and only picture you posted on your Instagram of me.

The long and fuzzy hot pink dress that stayed on my lock screen until my phone begged me to switch to iOS 17.

The seemingly endless pile of jeans. Light blue, grey, washed out, high waisted, low waisted. They’re all the same. They all look incredible on you. No, my mistake. You make them all look incredible. I can throw a greasy sheepskin unitard onto you and somehow, you’ll still look delectable.

The heels. The sneakers. The clothes you never wear. The mistaken purchases. The dresses that always lead to a profound happiness, “This dress has pockets!” Even the clothes I’m not a fan of. They would all look better on you than in a closet this far away.

“These are the heels I wore to my brother’s wedding,” you say.
“They look great, perfect for New Years,” I respond.
“They are the most uncomfortable heels I’ve ever worn.”
“I absolutely hate them.”

The clothes I bought for you. The retro Cherry Coke shirt that you refuse to wear because you’re a Coke Zero girl.

The navy-blue dress that you refuse to wear because you find it too expensive, like an antique car just gathering dust in an old guy’s garage. We could’ve gotten it in orange. I’m glad we didn’t, although you would’ve looked like a sexy traffic cone.

The heels I got for you to be my Hailey Bieber on Halloween. Or the gold stringy ones for one of our many date nights.

The gold rivière I gave you for our anniversary. It kept getting caught in your hair, so I don’t blame you for not wearing it anymore.

But now I won’t get to see any of them anymore. I won’t be front row to the runway performances you put on as you’re deciding what to wear. I won’t get to watch you do your little shimmy as you slide on your jeans. I won’t miss every reservation because you’ve changed in and out of your outfits three times. I won’t get to take them off you.

I wonder if you’ll think of me when you wear them. If every short dress will bring back thoughts me pulling them down as they inevitably rode up after every step. If every heel touching the floor will be even louder, not drowned out by the sound of my boots dragging behind them. If you’ll share a phantom feeling of me unhooking your bra whenever your back was towards me. If every hoodie will hold you like I do. If every turtleneck will grip your neck like I did. If every earring will be lonely on your nightstand, missing my wallet and keys.

It cost me over $100 to bring the suitcase overseas. But I don’t care about the money. The real tax is emotional. You may be taking the clothes, but I’ll be carrying around baggage for a long time.