by Courtney Bierschbach, 05/22/2020, Lake Leelanau, mi

Adult Category

Dear Suitcase A.KA. Suity,

I’m sorry it has been so long since your last trip. It’s not my fault. I promise there’s no one new. Yes, I was eyeing that Osprey rolling case/backpack combo awhile back but I swear, I didn’t do anything more than look. See it’s like this… while traveling normally makes me a better person, right now I have a very important job. We’re talking like Marvel superhero importance. The fate of the world is literally in our hands (and mouths and noses).

By staying home Suity, we’re being a better person than we could be traveling. We can’t go anywhere right now because when humans travel we don’t just take our hopes, bikinis, and bucket lists with us. We take our germs – our coughs, sneezes, runny noses, fevers, and more. And we don’t just take them with us, we sprinkle them around on elevator buttons, airplane tray tables, bathroom stall locks, car door handles, self-serve kiosks, and even…suitcase handles. Like glitter on your face after a Kesha concert: everywhere and impossible to get rid of. I know, most of this is normal and even expected when traveling. It’s why you always have a stock of Emergen-C packets and Clorox wipes in your inner liner. But this time, it’s different. It’s so new we don’t know how to treat it, or stop it, or prevent it. With one exception. Less moving = less spreading. It’s hard and I understand, travel is usually what we do when we are feeling blue, or stressed, or missing someone fiercely like we are now. But it won’t be like this forever, you won’t be stuck in the basement for eternity. In addition to saving countless lives by staying home right now, we’re also buying time. Time for researchers, doctors, and scientists who are working tirelessly to find a way to fix, heal, and improve things. To prevent things from becoming worse. To fully understand the short and long term implications of things.

Suity, remember that time after staying awake, traveling, for 39 hours that I put all of my clothes away, locked your handy built-in lock, fell asleep for 12 hours and then woke up only to realize in my sleep-deprived packing I somehow reset the combination to the lock and had no idea what it was. And then, how I had two options: finding a locksmith in Dublin in my underwear or google “how to pick a lock” in my host’s apartment outside their locked bedroom door… my underwear…. yeah…..good times. I promise we’ll be leaving the house together again soon. We’ll visit all the people and all the places. Because if we do our job now – they’ll still be around for us and everyone else when we get to the other side. I’ll be dragging you up flights of stairs in exotic places, packing you full of toys to see my darling nephew, smuggling wine in your extra secret pockets, racing you down the driveway at mom’s house, and jumping up and down on you trying to close you with “just one more pair of shoes”.

Until then old friend, I assure you this is for the best.

Yours forever (or until your zippers give out),


PS – If the basement spiders decide to start a mutiny and take over the house like I think they’ve been plotting – let me know.