…on the entrance to the highway that left PHL. Welcome home sis!
Yesterday was tough. I moved the remainder of my belongings out of the living situation I was glad to leave, then gathered my work luggage, and put on my uniform. I wasn’t going to work, but I didn’t have anything to wear to the airport besides leggings. Folks don’t realize that there’s a dress code when I want to fly somewhere. Yes, I get to fly “free”, but part of that means I can’t wear leggings. No one, however, complains when you’re in uniform. There’s nothing to think about, and that’s comforting in its own way.
As I put my work luggage next to the door for the last time, I did one more look over, gave my keys to rent lady, and unceremoniously left. I did get a hug from my favourite roommates before leaving. She gives a great hug. She also wanted to know if and when I got back to Philly. That’s how you know you’ve got a good friend.
I got on the brown line, which takes it’s time making its way to downtown, and it’s quite scenic. I started to feel sad. It’s true that I wanted to leave my living situation, but it doesn’t mean I wanted to leave Chicago. For right now, however, I guess this is how it has to be. I know it’s for the best, but it was hard for me not to be sad to leave a city I knew nothing about, yet have come to love so much. It was also hard not to feel like I had failed to make it on my own.
After a few inconveniences that felt like the end of the world (EVERYTHING feels like the end of the world when you’re tired and hungry), I was on a plane and headed back to Philadelphia. I’ll miss the Chicago skyline, and hopping on the el train to go wherever I want. I’ll miss all the great eateries and people I’ve come to know. Most of all, I’ll miss the lake beach. I believe it’s still closed to the public at this time, but man, I’m kind of sad to leave during the summer. It was hot and miserable yesterday which wrecked any hairstyle I might’ve had, but other than that, Chicago summers are gorgeous. Besides the wretched heat, I can understand why some people stay, and endure the harsh winters. The last two winters haven’t been bad, but that first one I experienced? I’m pretty sure my eyebrows had to defrost.
I’ll try to keep hope alive that this situation will be temporary. What’s nice is that I have flight benefits, and I’m based in Chicago. I can come back and visit whenever I like. It’s not the same as living there, but it’s sure better than no Chicago at all. Plus, I have people that want to see my face once in a while.
Let’s get back to this Uber ride: the car had a lot of stuff in the trunk, which the drive had to shuffle around for my bags to fit, there was a throw blanket balled up on the floor in the back of the car, the car smelled like alcohol (which I HOPE was because he sanitized, but it didn’t smell like any isopropyl I’ve smelled), and he was careening around corners like he was a Chinatown bus driver. It takes a lot for me to be nervous about someone’s driving; that did it. The last time someone’s driving made me nervous was last year. I was in a hotel shuttle, and I found myself gripping the seat. I praise God that I’m alive.
I arrived at my house, cautiously and slowly got out of the car, making sure I had everything. He removed my bags from the trunk. I thanked him, wished him good night, and stumbled toward my house with sore feet as he drove out of sight.