Sacrifice of the Traveling Pants

I’m not the best at packing for a trip, and that was especially true for the UK trip; at three weeks — well, just under — it was the longest trip I’d taken since, maybe, I was traveling to the States for months at a time before I moved here more than 20 years ago. I was out of practice, clearly, and I basically threw a bunch of stuff in the suitcase and hoped for the best.

What this meant in practice was that I ended up realizing halfway through the trip that I’d never noticed the number of holes in my jeans. And really, it was the holes in the crotch that were the problem; it’s not that I was wearing assless chaps, per se, but I was closer than anyone who’d feel comfortable with. They were so bad, in fact, that as soon as I realized their state, I decided to get rid of them. Why bring trash with me, after all?

The thing is, that wasn’t how it felt when I left the jeans behind. Perhaps it was the state of mind I was in at the time — tired, lonely, homesick — or maybe something else, but I remember very clearly the sense of sacrifice. Not in the way of, “I’m sacrificing something by leaving these behind,” but the idea of the jeans being a sacrifice to some unknown force that the rest of the trip would go quickly, and well, and that I’d be home again before too long.

I’m tempted to say it worked, but who can say? For all we know, the rest would have gone entirely the same had I carried the holey jeans with me. I prefer to think that wouldn’t have been the case, though; I like to believe in a world where magic like this exists, and it’s as simple as giving up a pair of jeans for the greater good. Magic that everyone can do.

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