As I just now gazed through more than 200 photos snapped during my whirlwind 48 hour trip to Chicago a few weekends back, I began to remember the places viewed and humans with which contact was made. Unlike when I returned from the actual trip, when I simply had a meltdown of my own overwhelmment (I know it isn’t really a word), realizing how much of my young adulthood was lived so fully there. I think I spent as much time traveling that weekend as I did hanging out with my peeps. The schlepping had its benefits, though. Because schlepping by myself is still alone time in my book. I read, I wrote, I looked and thought. I was alone in this way on my three hour trip from Midway airport, to downtown Chicago, then to Hammond, Indiana where I stayed with Sheila, Jeremy and Jemma the first night. Then again, for two hours on a train from Hammond, IN to downtown Chicago, to the Mayfair neighborhood on the northside to see Damon. Then from the Wicker Park neighborhood after a delightful brekky with Wayne and Nina, to downtown Chicago, to Midway airport, in an hour and change. I’m glad I only brought a backpack and small carrying bag.
It took less time for me to get from Baltimore to Chicago than travel within the Chicago region! And that town has decent public transit. It’s just huge is all. A gigantic city. I am not sure I realized this when I was a mere child, back in the early 1990’s. I guess I just stayed in the same general areas, took trains to the same stops over and over again. Just like when I lived in New York. Just like I do in Baltimore. Every city is a small town.
There’s something wonderful, tho, in the travel. Time to contemplate who you left and who you are about to see. To look at the people around you, the local advertizements. Retail. Fashion. When I am home, in my little radius of everyday existence, I am usually watching out for my girls, not paying too much attention to that stuff. Just safety and snacks. That is how my mind is occupied in Balmer. My mind in Chicago didn’t think so much to my past time there, though there were strange moments of recognition and random memory, but more focused on the present. I am now in an eternal present. I am guessing this a common state of things for parents. Future, yes, but more just now and five minutes from now.