When you’ve lived in a certain place—say, perhaps, a major midwestern city near a large body of water—for a certain amount of time—say, oh, eight years and five months—you tend to hit a point where the things that at least partially drew you here become the absolute last things you want to spend your time doing. Today, for example:
1. Just down the street, the White Sox are racing Chicago’s only minor-league baseball team to the bottom. Once upon a time, that would have meant showing up early with a silver-and-black broadsword and chain mail reading TAKATSU on the back but, having long since realized those games are among the least interesting battles for last place around, getting tickets seems pointless.
2. Your friends are at the Taste, which to a teenager in the suburbs sounded like the scenic block party to end all scenic block parties, but to an adult in the city means crowds and crowds, which as we all know, are for suckers, and any booth at the Taste is at least thousand times cooler as a restaurant anyway.
3. Someone invites you to join them, and bunch of other people you know and like, at the lakefront, so majestic in postcards, pointing forever towards an ever more beautiful horizon and those mighty towers sloping into each other, but only because postcard technology cannot yet accurately capture out that weird smell that comes off the water when the wind blows in from a certain direction, not to mention the crush of people tripping over each other all the way from North to Montrose.
But people ebb and flow, and cities ebb and flow with them, and to begrudge that is to hold your choice to move here against yourself into perpetuity which is why, instead of making it worse, I have passed the hours here, in and around my very nice apartment in a major midwestern city near a large body of water at the perfectly good start to a beautiful holiday weekend, reading, writing, and wondering just where the hell everyone is today. It’s Saturday, for crying out loud.
About the author: Andrew Reilly’s fiction and non-fiction alike have appeared in a number of fine publications. Visit him online, or in person in Uptown.