Chicago, post-Christmas break
The noises coming out of my radiators tonight are truly incredible. More incredible, in fact, than the cold steam coming through my bathroom window. They are incessant tonight, which is abnormal.
Usually, there is a 15 to 20 minute break between this hissing, banging, gurgling sounds of my radiators in the winter. At least enough of a break to get some sleep (as I write after 2am.) They’ve now heated my apartment so fully that my friend’s comment earlier on my complaint of the severe cold in Chicago does seem correct,
“Well at least you’re apartment is 10,000 degrees.”
I opened my shades to let in a little air. There’s ice on the inside of the window. I turned on my fan. Everything can be managed by a good fan.
It is, really though, great to be back in Chicago. Christmas break, despite my first two buses back to Chicago getting canceled, despite being de-friended on facebook by someone who days earlier gave me earrings–was restful, and filled with friends, family and love. It was hard to leave Nebraska, to realize I was going back to a lot of hard work and many very busy days.
The adjustment reminded me of my days of travel, the days of absolute torturous loneliness and sadness when I left home or friends or family. Transition always broke open new possibilities though, and I don’t think it’s possible to grow without it. I always hate saying goodbye to Peter and Rooney and the Mollys, and I always will. And I’m painfully lucky to get to experience those kind of familial bonds of love.
My last night in Omaha, after two haphazard nights sleeping on my brother’s futon after canceled buses, I got to spend several wonderful hours with my mom, shopping and then eating French food and drinking wine. Then, we met my best friends one more time–friends with whom I’ve never felt more fully like myself, more content in the moment.
Before 10p.m., Mom and I sped off and then waited for nearly an hour and a half for Megabus to finally arrive. It was enough time to befriend a fellow Nebraska-to-Chicagoan who was game for drinking on the night bus. The two things I discovered from this adventure were 1: don’t buy Sangria-flavored red wine even if it is the only twist-off bottle in the store and 2: I finally found someone who has a boat! (and offered to let me ride on it!)
I have been back, alone and content, in my apartment in Uptown for a few days now. I’ve been given time to organize this semester’s classes madness and to think a little bit about the break, about relationships and friendships and various holiday packages I still need to send around the world.
I’ve been reading a lot too, which has been a comforting reminder of how I feel so much more human when I’m reading works by James Martin or Murakami or whoever. The more I read the more I want to write and the more I write the better I feel.
My best friend in Chicago, Nina, called 2013 the “Year of Sophie” but I’d like to continue it on into 2014. New plans, new friends, new love and adventure.
And hopefully, by the end of this winter, a tolerance to my miserable fucking radiators.