Two, one

“I had a dream,” DD said when he woke up on Sunday morning.

“What was it about?” I asked. With three days to go before Beijing, my eyes had unusually sprung open.

“I had a dream,” DD said, “that you didn’t want to take the green suitcase.”

I thought about it.

“That’s really quite boring,” I said.

“There’s a lot going on in my head,” DD explained, “a lot of admin going on.”

He got up and stood by my side of the bed. Pointing to things in the room and through the open door, he talked about what we should get shipped to China, what we should keep in storage in the UK, what to pack as excess check-in luggage for his parents to pick up in the car and bring to the airport, what we should pack in a separate suitcase for the remaining days in North London, and what is the landlady’s and should be left.

I listened, vaguely and quietly. When DD gesticulates elaborately and cocks his head a lot, it means he is stressed. It was the first morning in months that it felt chilly, so I stayed cocooned in the duvet and watched him. Eventually he paused, and decided to make tea.

While we’d neglected to do the packing, we’d had a packed weekend. A fantastic leaving party with our friends had, even two days later, kept our voices croaky from talking above the music and my cheek muscles achy from too much smiling and laughing. That night the penny dropped – hearing the people I love say good bye and good luck, I finally understood that I was actually going to Beijing.

With that, I started sleeping badly, my left eye started twitching and an ulcer appeared in my mouth. As the weather suddenly turned autumnal I only had summer clothes left unpacked to wear in warm Beijing, so I found myself hobbling around town shivering with wet feet. While DD expresses nervous energy through gesticulation, I seem to express mine by trying to catch a cold.

This morning we waited for the man in van – or men in ven, as Super Hans would say – to take everything away for shipping and storage. Now empty and echo-y, the flat feels even colder.

“We can have an early night,” I said, seeing DD still pacing around looking serious. “Oh it’ll be fine,” he replied, “it’ll feel nice once we’ve done everything, like post-exam tiredness.”

Having done most of the preparation by himself, DD deserves to feel the relief. If I’m relieved to be going, it’s because I’m tired of hearing myself talk about Beijing, a feeling I’m sure my friends would have had months ago.

So in this spirit, I’ll next write when I’ve actually and finally sodded off to Beijing. By which time, I hope, I’ll have new thoughts and, more importantly, dry feet.


Copyright © 2013 followingdrdippy

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