The Things I Carried

An inventory for restarting a life.  (And not as interesting as the things Tim O’Brian carried.)

Clothes

  • 1 jacket, faded black leather
  • That's it...

    1 sport coat, brown (that needs to be re-tailored)

  • 3 pair pants (one business, one casual, one business/casual)
  • 3 pair shorts
  • 2 sweaters
  • 10 t-shirts, with assorted faded images
  • 1 long-sleeve athletic shirt, black
  • 10 pair boxers
  • 10 pair socks
  • 5 pair shoes (one boot, two sneakers, one leather, one rock-climbing)
  • 1 tie (c’mon jobs)
  • 1 belt, brown leather
  • 3 hats (one baseball, one knit, one beanie)
  • 1 balaclava
  • 1 rain slick
  • 1 scarf, grey wool (knitted by my mother)

Electronics

  • 1 widescreen HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop (far too big for travel but so comforting to have)
  • 1 cracked 8GB Microsoft Zune, green
  • 1 Canon PowerShot A1000IS camera
  • 4 batteries, rechargeable
  • 1 battery charging dock
  • 1 five-piece electronic adaptor set
  • blank CDs, various
  • 1 USB mouse
  • 2 pair earphones
  • Electronic wires, various

Toiletries

  • 1 bottle shampoo
  • 1 bottle conditioner, fun size (compliments Hyatt DC)
  • 1 bar soap, fun size (compliments Hyatt DC)
  • 4 tubes toothpaste (1 full size, 3 random fun size)
  • 1 razor (10 blades)
  • 1 can shave cream
  • 1 bar deodorant
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 1 bottle anti-cavity mouthwash
  • 1 bottle moisturizer
  • 1 bottle face scrub
  • 1.5 boxes floss
  • 1 bottle astringent
  • 100 count cotton cosmetic rounds
  • 1 bottle Pepto-Bismol
  • 1 nail clipper, gold
  • 1 trim scissor, stainless steel
  • 1 towel
  • 1 washcloth
  • 1 suction powered toothbrush holder, panda shaped

Personal

  • 1 America passport (freshly signed and ready for use)
  • 1 wallet (containing typical wallet things)
  • 1 multi-tool
  • 3 novels (Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep; Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being; and Charles Bukowski’s Post Office)
  • 2 blank books (both elegantly bound – one in brown leather, the other in orange canvas – gifts from Bill Tucker)
  • 2 decks of cards (1 for traditional use, 1 to use as bookmarks)
  • Pencils and pens, assorted

    Complete with a ticket stub from my last trip.

  • 1 linoleum carving block
  • 1 set linoleum carving knives
  • 1 bag googley eyes, assorted sizes
  • 1 five-year journal (that has sat blank all summer)
  • 1 mix CD (Freeway in Mind compiled by Chris Longano)
  • 2 game CDs (Half-life and Fallout)
  • 1 DVD (the Hangover)
  • 1 flask, stainless steel (filled with Sri Lankan coconut rum)
  • 1 MagLite
  • 1 pair Aviator sunglasses (to reassume my lost “London look”)
  • 1 box condoms
  • 5 jars vitamins, assorted
  • 1 bottle liquid vitamin E
  • 3 tubes Chapstick, black
  • 1 miniature plastic Buddha (for luck)

It’s discomforting to see three packed bags amidst piles of discarded possessions and tell yourself, “all I need to live is in those three bags.”  I’m staggered by there shear amount of stuff that I’ve managed to accumulate.  Goodbye things.

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5 Responses to The Things I Carried

  1. Sarah Mooney says:

    Good luck Ian! I’m thinking of you today as you embark on your exciting journey.

  2. tanya marvinney says:

    Wow, how’d ya get so much stuff into that bag?????

  3. Marcia says:

    I miss you already.
    You picked good books. Especially The Unbearable Lightness of Being – such beautiful writing. And Post Office is always a good hangover read.

  4. Tasha says:

    That’s not all you need to live and you know it.

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