My Chicago

It’s not something you feel, really. It’s something you know.
After a night of odd adventuring that ended with me a titch late to the airport (as usual), I did a good bit of jogging through the airport to get to my gate. Perfectly timed, I must say. I asked a cute elderly (not very elderly but close) couple what rows were boarding. “Oh dear, you must be going hiking,” she said to me. I looked down. Mountain backpack complete with sleeping bag strapped in at the bottom. I, however, was wearing loafer-esque shoes, skinny jeans, jewelry and had the essence of exhaustion floating about me.
“No,” I told her, “I’m just going to clean my old apartment.”
My old apartment. 
I was asleep before the plane had even hit cruising altitude. I slept for a solid two hours, waking only as we were descending over the rows of houses that surround Midway.
Home.
Home is nothing and everything, it’s the way the humidity rushed to fill the plane after the doors were opened. It’s the way that everyone hustles around, staring quietly at the people next to them. It’s the man behind me yelling at a woman who wouldn’t turn down her stereo and who refused to use headphones. It’s her telling him to get off the train. It’s the way the other passengers look at each other and then smile as they turn their heads away. It’s the small glint of fireflies in the darkening night. It’s the buildings, the bricks, the smell of concrete and the silence of the oppressive heat. It’s walking through the green and gray landscape and hearing no one but knowing you’re surrounded. It’s life. It’s neighbors. It’s human interactions, the smell of mens cologne as they pass in the street. The giggles of young girls who don’t know what life isn’t yet, pouring out of the train with their bras exposed. It’s metal, metal on metal and the screech of brakes grinding together.
It’s hot oppressive bars filled with warnings about fake IDs. It’s the sound of throbbing music filling another space. It’s the art on the walls, robots with big gleaming eyes. It’s the women’s restroom and it’s the pictures of the other women, the solidarity and the beauty. It’s the bartender closing the bar, locking the doors, cleaning and then following us into the night. It’s the smell of the Oasis, familiar and grotesque. It’s the icy buckets, the familiar faces, the pretenses. It’s the clock ticking, tick tick tock.
And then the morning has been slept away and there’s work to be done but there’s too much to do. And there’s not enough time and the city’s calling and I’m answering and off to something else, of course.

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