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On the plane ride back I read about a boy who was also on a plane. He called his ex-girlfriend before takeoff and she said, “I hope your plane crashes.” He wished it did. I stared out the window and thought about what would happen when we landed on the tarmac at O’Hare. My family and I would push through throngs of people to drag our luggage off the crowded carousel, then we would run out as quickly as possible to avoid getting trapped in one of the world’s busiest airports. We would stand on the gray, chilly sidewalk and wait for a cab, then watch the bright Chicago lights fade out into darkness as the car shuttled us into the suburbs. We would arrive at our house with the big red door and blow warm air into our hands to counter the sharp bite of the wind. We would smile and laugh in our echoey house with the high ceilings. We would be home.

It always scares me to land at SFO because it looks like you’re going to land in the bay, but then at the last possible second a thin landing strip appears and tension drains out of your shoulders. The airport was slow-moving and sparsely dotted with travelers. The air was warm and still. We drove across the Bay Bridge, marveling at the beauty of San Francisco. It was beautiful, but it felt off. Two puzzle pieces that don’t quite match up. This city is not mine and I do not belong to this city. We are overly polite dance partners who touch sparingly and carefully. I know it takes time. And I will wait. But in two years it will be another city, another place I will try to call a home. I wonder if I will ever feel as bound to a city as I am to Chicago. I hope I do. Chicago has shitty weather and a fair amount of people I’ve grown to hate.

I'll get over this homesickness soon, the same way I get over everything. But right now it's worth a few blog posts.
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August 2016

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