“Goodnight Chicago, you are mine, tonight”

18 Sep

(I meant to post this earlier on Friday, not midnight so it’s technically Saturday. We leave September 24.)

"Goodnight Chicago, you have skies as red as any summer."

Today begins my last week in Chicago. They say life is full of firsts, but it’s also full of lasts. I’ve had plenty of lasts in my life so far–my last day at high school, at Northwestern, at every job and apartment. Each time I vividly remember standing there thinking, “I will never be here, in this context, ever again.” It’s an odd sensation. I always felt like I should do something to make it memorable.

I walked back to my apartment from dinner last night despite the wind chill telling me to take a cab. I wanted to spend some alone time with the city I once loved so much. I was trying to think of things I should do during my last week–food I should eat, people and places I should see. But the thing is, if I haven’t tasted it or seen it in six years, it’s probably not that important to me and I don’t really want or need to. I will remember Chicago for the six years I spent here, not for my last week. (I was going to use a drink metaphor here, about how it’s good to the last drop but it’s not the last drop you remember (which is often watered down), it’s the whole drink, but I thought it might be a stretch. Yet I still mentioned it…)

So here’s to my last week–may it be filled with walks around the city, packing, and, in the words of Mr. Haegele, one of my old high school teachers, “Not goodbyes, see-you-laters.”

(The title of this post comes from Lucy Wainwright Roche’s beautiful song, “Chicago.” I listened to it as the skyline came into view on my Megabus trip last weekend and was planning on listening to it as I left Chicago for real, except it always makes me tear up and I like to try to avoid that in public places.)

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