“Write about leaving. Approach it any way you want. Write about your divorce, leaving the house this morning, or a friend dying.”
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones
Her plane was leaving for Chicago in three hours, she packed only necessities. She cleared out the top shelf of the medicine cabinet, dropping several containers of Airborne and a full bottle of Advil in a flimsy Clinique bag. This tiny bag has traveled with her around the world, she could barely zip it up. She closed the mirror. She opened the mirror again and placed two Advil on the empty shelf in case Brian needed some that afternoon.
She went into the living room, milled around their matching furniture and color coordinated fabrics, looking for anything she forgot to pack. She picked up a crystal vase. She put it down. She touched the framed photo of Brian in which he resembles Tom Cruise’s minus the muscles. Brian surely had a deeper voice than Cruise, which was more becoming to Miller than Cruise’s Top Gun six-pack. She packed the framed photo of Brian as a teenager with a fuzzy unibrow. This was how she wanted to remember him, the way he looked when they met in junior high. She left Brian the wedding photos, the silver, and china. She ran her hand across her grandfather’s walnut dining-room table, lined up all eight antique chairs, and walked out the front door.