In two days we board a plane to the Cayman Islands. We’re moving to a country we’ve never been. What I know about the Caymans could fill a single page, double spaced, size 18 font. When I imagine the Caymans I see blue water, palm trees and white sands. I have to Google pictures of beautiful sandy beach to make sure they exist. I imagine the ultra rich and hidden bank accounts. Huge vault doors banks, discrete brokers dressed in grey suits, an unbuttoned white shirt and a Panama hat waiting for you at a café to offer clandestine financial services.
Natalie has seen the addresses for companies in partnership K1 tax forms a hundred times. In the middle of tax busy season you always joke about visiting the places on the K1. You never know when a joke can be become reality.
But before we board a plane we unload boxes to store at Natalie’s parent’s house. We’ve reduced our life in Boston to half of a 15 foot truck, a U-Haul without cruise control towing our Subaru Legacy. After a 12.5 hour drive we cover a distance of 651 miles in a single day, determined to gut it out and finish the long drive as quick as possible.
Our reward is a late night dinner of Costco prepacked Tikka Masala (one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten on an empty stomach), and the joy of carrying boxes up a rickety fold down staircase, a narrow entrance to the attic. When you’re as broad shouldered as I am, it’s a special kind of hell. I alternate between fearing that I’ll fall over backwards, knocking myself into a concussion, crushed under the weight of a box of electronics (because that would be a great way to start a new adventure) and fearing that the brass hinges of the stairs will rip my shirt and leave my arms a bloody mess (because that’s also a great way to start a new adventure).
On election night we sat at dinner with Natalie’s dad around their dining room table. The usual place settings–fork on the left, knife on the right–and cellphones on the left. On election night, it’s ok to have your phone at the table. In between pieces of conversation we all nervously check the Google updates, thumbs scrolling for the status of swing states that change from light red to light blue, solidifying into red as Trump wins electoral college votes. It’s a lose lose situation and none of us at the table are happy with any of the results.
As though to punctuate the general uneasiness of the election, the morning after it rained. We tried to sort our final 5 suitcases (all the essentials we think we need for a life in the Cayman Islands), getting frustrated when the bags are two or ten pounds over the weight limit.
Outside our dog stood in the pond as the rain poured down, oblivious to muddy paws.
Sometimes all you can do is laugh.