Tag Archives: Chicago

Everything Dies, Baby, That’s a Fact

Wah Waaaah Waaaaaaaaaaah

That’s the sound of a sad trombone. Know why? Because it’s my birthday tomorrow. The ol’ sad trombone isn’t playing a lament for my lost youth – this face still says “I can’t buy cigarettes, card me please!” – I don’t care about that. What I care about is that on my birthday, this is what I like to do:

one of each please

I just…I just really want some decent whisky. A lot of it. In a really dark dive bar with awesome beer on tap and a fucking jukebox and a bartender that looks like James Dean. In short, I want to be here:

my one true love

Home sweet home.

I haven’t been this nostalgic for Chicago since the first week I landed in Korea. But right now there are people that I want to see, drinks I want to drink, songs I want to sing, cold cold autumn wind I want to feel.  But I’m afraid the damage is done. In my experience, the whole “you can never go home again” cliche is true. No exceptions. Already there are people that I considered family a few months ago that have fallen off the radar. And Chicago doesn’t belong to me now and most likely won’t again, though everytime I’m in a cab at night I expect to look out the east-facing windows to see the city lights and moon reflecting off Lake Michigan as we speed north on Lake Shore Drive.

It’s the thing that haunts us nomads: Would it have been better if I stayed? Would it be the same? What have I traded, unintentionally, for the life I’m living now? Pointless questions.  Common sense leaps up and says you’ll never know, there is no answer. The brain retraces the last few months and reminds you why you decided to leave in the first place, how you started to stagnate. And I hesitate to call what I’m feeling homesickness, because Chicago wasn’t my home for very long. Nostalgia implies a wistfulness that I don’t feel. But whatever it is, whatever you call it, this is the grief that inevitably attends the shock of moving.