by a contributor
My suitcase will not eat. My suitcase is a Samsonite American Tourister in titanium grey.
It has a doghouse in a backyard. A pair of silver dishes, sixteen ounces each. All the Alpo it can eat. All of this I give to it, yet it will not eat.
We go for walks daily, and I know my neighbors are envious. Who would want a dog or cat when they could have a Samonsite, world renowned for its disposition? Oh, I’ve had dogs and cats. If you took the love of ten thousand black labs and sprinkled in a dash of Dalmatian, you’d have exactly five percent of the affection guaranteed by your average Samsonite.
The only problem with owning a Samsonite is the finicky eating habits. Some weeks my Samsonite will go days without eating. We fight about it. The only thing we fight about. We fight because I can’t stand it to go hungry. At night while it sleeps I open it up and sneak food into its satin innards. I pat its smooth cool surface and sneak back to bed. In the morning the food lays beside it, uneaten, unchewed.
Eight weeks pass. No food, not a drop. There’s a case of Alpo stagnating in the garage. You’ll waste away, I tell it. And already it looks thinner. Bits of plastic fall off during our afternoon walks. At home it won’t drink. Drink, Samsonite! I say. Drink! Later I find it under the bed hocking up a pair of Bermuda shorts. According to the owner’s manual, and despite its finicky appetite, the Samsonite is known for its indestructibility. This is troubling. Losing weight, lethargy. I fear my Samsonite is diseased.
I follow the care instructions carefully. I wash its hard coat with a damp cloth, spray silicone into its hinges. It nudges my sweaty hands, licks my fingertips with its plastic tags. My heart melts. I love you, Samsonite, I say, please be okay. Its surface is warm. Fever.
I take time off. I’ve neglected it, I know. I should be taking it with me on my business trips. Samsonites are born for travel.
In bed we weather in-flight movies as the fever breaks. Airplane!, Airport, and something with Jennifer Aniston. We both fall asleep, my arms cuddled around it.
I dream of plastic wheels chasing rabbits across a tarmac. When I wake, the answer is lying beside me.
Who wants to go on a trip? I say. And immediately we begin to pack.
Mark McKee is from Dyersburg, TN. His work has appeared recently in Space Squid and Eyeshot. He sometimes reviews books at goodreads.com/markmckeejr.
See Mark’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.