does the joan didion packing method work?
new mexico dreaming
hey, is anyone else awake right now?
welcome to late night on the molehill. it’s about 10pm right now and by the time i publish this, it’ll probably be something something AM but i’m savoring the quiet intimacy of the night hours. i love to write at night. after a hot shower, slinking under the covers with my laptop, propping my head up in an ergonomic shitshow of a pillow tower. i am supposed to be preparing for a big day tomorrow but i’m anxious about it, so i keep thinking about other things. specifically, an upcoming trip to new mexico. i’ve never been.
it’s a place that only exists as images and ideas in my head. i am dreaming of 90 degree dry desert heat, lying still like a lizard on a hot rock, eating green hatch chiles with eggs, trying my first sopapilla, driving through route 66 playing leonard cohen songs, wearing thin cotton smock dresses, buying a gas station tee shirt that says “someone in santa fe loves me,” being sucked into an energy vortex in the middle of the earth, drinking a mezcal cocktail with one giant ice cube, seeing a tumbleweed, taking photos of the yonic paintings at the o’keefe museum, figuring out to drive a rental car, buying heavy silver bangles and boots.
as i think about packing, i remember a certain list of literary lore: joan didion’s packing list from her 1979 book of essays the white album.
i don’t know if this is meant for a 3 day trip or a 7 day trip or 14 day trip. but it struck me as very simple yet very indulgent…
the small amount of actual clothing feels like the result of spartan decision making. i am dying to know more. the leotards??? where did she get them? capezio?? joan didion wore leotards. interesting. no pants on this list either. she wore nightgowns, not pajamas. the robe and slipper combo is so chic. you just know that’s for smoking and drinking bourbon over the railing of a two story motel off the highway, crow’s feet squinting straight into the sun, even through the protection of her celine sunglasses (!)
mentally, i started following this packing list, jotting down what i would pack according to the didion method.
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