fly away home

There are so many places I need to go, and soon, and they are scattered all over the country, inconveniently. There are the obligations I have, which are not so very full of hardship–a beautiful wedding in May, a baby shower (baby shower!) in June, both in San Francisco; there is also my graduate school’s Life After the MFA seminar, which I want to participate in. I need to head back to New York, for a week, a long weekend, something.

More: we need to go to Portland to see E’s brother and wife, before brotherman turns an advanced age. Chicago is on the plate, Vegas is on the list, and if things work out the way they’re supposed to, I will be flying somewhere every month for the next six months. The idea makes me a little tired, feel a little poor, but I am already urging the days along, wishing away my time, so that I can get going already.

I’m nervous, though–when I go back to San Francisco, am I going to be able to leave? Of course I’m going to have to. The hotel is going to kick me out, eventually, when the maid service finds me living under the bed, sucking on coffee filters for sustenance. I can kick and scream all I want, in the boarding area of the airport, but I will either be arrested for terrorist actions or knocked out and thrown on the plane and sent back to my life, and I’m worried that I’m not settled here in Utah enough to go back. It’s like not quite being over your ex and running into them unexpectedly on the street. It knocks you for a loop and you’re not quite prepared and for days after, you’re thrown off your game and you are right smack in the middle of all that getting over it you thought you had left behind. Alternately, we can call San Francisco “crack cocaine,” and I can tell you that I don’t want to go through that withdrawal again.

New York: there is a fundamental homesickness happening, there. Not so much for the place itself, however fond I am of the city and however much I wish I could live there, but I really couldn’t. I miss my family. I miss my mother, and my aunt, and I miss my brother like crazy and his wife and I haven’t seen them since June, their wedding, when I remembered how great my family can be. They seem very far away right now, and I need to see them, and spend time with them, and I need to do that before it gets miserably hot and we melt into puddles and evaporate on the sidewalk. So, soon.

Portland and Vegas, both birthday trips, coming up fast. Chicago, the place we’re talking about moving, possibly someday, is a scouting trip for just that reason, and also, I want to go back. I really would be happy to live there, the more I think about it, and I want to make sure I am not having some kind of fever dream in which I make a terrible life decision. I am agitating for San Francisco, but despite the weather, and the lack of a coast that makes me feel a little itchy and landlocked as if I were totally a sailor, I love the place and the people and the city. Chicago is one of the few places that feels like a real city to me. There is a subway and everything! I bet it runs all night, even! And is not carpeted (BART). And it has got a harbor, and a big lake and a huge sky and feels like a good place, to me, and it’s someplace I think I can live, for awhile. Portland, too, and New York, I think I can give it a shot again. Vegas, probably not. But who knows? It’s shiny! I like shiny.

All these places to visit, and all these ideas about uprooting my life before I’ve even settled in this one I’ve got now. I’ve always been restless, ready to make big changes, and sometimes that is a good thing, and sometimes it is a little crazy of me. I’ve never regretted any of my decisions in the long run, but I don’t want to assume that everything always works out and flying leaps are always the best kind of ones to take. I can’t stay home, safely settled and continuing to settle in, but maybe I can just take a few trips without big ideas in my head, enjoy them, and be very glad to be flying home in the end, and save the grand gestures for the distant future.

2 Replies to “fly away home”

  1. Speaking as someone who has lived all over the country (and even out of the country in London), I can vouch for Chicago being the absolutely best to live on the planet — at least that’s what I think. You have the good-hearted nature of the midwestern soul combined with a beach resort in the middle of the country combined with all of the fascinating city things combined with a very reasonable cost of living. And yes, the subway (we call it the “el” runs all night).

  2. I have to say that the one thing I think is really flawed about the Bay Area is the fact that BART doesn’t run all night, or at least until 2:30am. I find it highly annoying that the powers that be keep talking about how to lower the drunk driving rate and yet continue to shut down the only really feasable form of inter-city public trasportation before the clubs even really get started. Stupid and short sighted.

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