I’ve got a serious case of wanderlust. It’d be easy enough to blame it on a rough winter, but I think it goes deeper than that (not that -20F windchills aren’t a ringing endorsement for being Elsewhere). I haven’t even been home to California to visit my family in almost a year, to say nothing of any other travel. I’ve been half-planning a trip to New Orleans since 2012 and I’m no closer to actually taking it. I’m not sure I’ve been farther than freakin’ Naperville in the past six months.
There are reasons for this, of course, largely financial. I’m buried under a pile of medical bills from last year, compounded by snowballing debt from a bout of manic overspending that preceded the incurring of those bills. If I still had all the money I’ve lost to bank overdraft fees since the summer, I could be on a goddamn beach somewhere at this very moment. But now, at a time when I most want to escape my surroundings and myself, to stare out a window at the scenery passing me by while someone else does the driving, I’m least able to.
I was walking to CVS earlier this evening and noticed a bar two blocks from my apartment that I’d never seen before. I’ve lived here for well over a year. The bar was obviously not new; it looked like one of those dives that have been sitting inconspicuously on the same corner for thirty years or more. I realize the blotting out of familiar surroundings is a common misfire of the brainmeats, but it’s still something that I find fascinating, especially given all the other misfires I run into every day. Sometimes I find myself wondering if these things pop into existence from nothing when I look in their direction, and if they’ll still be there tomorrow.
I guess what I’m getting at is that I should be spending more time exploring Chicago. I’ve spent seven years of my life here (and another year prior to that in the suburbs making frequent visits), but there’s no way you could ever know everything about a city that continually sheds its skin piece by piece. Really, if I can get out of my head and into something I didn’t know before, maybe that will be enough.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins lately. It seems to gel with my current mental state. This song seems fitting to add here.