Off the cuff
1. I went to Chicago on Tuesday to rent an apartment. And when I say "Chicago," I mean the suburbs, as I am done with big cities for a good long while. My increasingly fragile constitution needs a rest.
[I]n the two years since my divorce I’ve sometimes walked out in these winding, bowery streets after dark on some ruminative errand or other and looked in at these same houses, windows lit with bronzy cheer, dark cars hove to the curbs, the sound of laughing and glasses tinkling and spirited chatter floating out, and thought to myself: what good rooms these are. What complete life is here, audible. And though I myself wasn’t part of it and wouldn’t much like it if I were, I was stirred to think all of us were living steadfast and accountable lives … but it is for just such uses that suburban streets are ideal, and the only way neighbors here can be neighborly.
You don't have to love the suburbs, but I do. We all will survive.
2. I saw Hamilton yesterday. It really did blow me away.
3. I also saw friends who soon will be friends I see often, again. I'm thrilled by the simple fact of that reality.
4. I got to O'Hare at about 5:30 this morning for my flight back to New York. After sailing through security (TSA Pre√) I purchased an iced coffee at Starbucks and carried it to a small grove of those electronically activated resting tables that decorate the corridors of international travel hubs these days, where I intended to rest. I set the coffee on the table, swung my backpack off my shoulder, and knocked the coffee off the table and onto the floor. All of this happened before I even unwrapped the straw from its paper.
4.1 I sat there for a minute, a little stunned, and then I threw the cup away, cleaned what I could off the floor, and walked back to Starbucks to purchase a second iced coffee.
4.2 I purchased a second iced coffee.
4.2.1 I carried that second iced coffee back to the same grove of tables but selected a different table this time, since the floor was still wet where I had spilled the first one and I did not wish to be identified (although I did notify a cleaning person).
4.2.2 I set that second coffee on that table, swung my backpack off my shoulder, and knocked that second goddamn motherfucking coffee off the table, onto the floor.
4.2.3 I sat there for a minute, a little stunned, and wondered if I was having a stroke.
4.2.4 I was not having a stroke.
4.3 I threw the second cup away, cleaned what I could off the floor, and walked to a different Starbucks to purchase a third iced coffee. I drank it standing up, with my backpack on. I didn't notify anybody of anything.
5. The flight back was not quite full, so there was room in the overhead bin for my Eddie Bauer coat (long, black, quilted, faux-fur-trim hood). We landed a little early but taxied for a while, and by the time the captain pulled the parking brake I was ready to bolt. Isn't everybody? Are you dying to spend more time on an airplane? I stood when released and pulled my coat from the overhead bin, and I checked it: Eddie Bauer, long, black, quilted, faux-fur-trim hood. I had no second bag, so I grabbed my backpack and headed for the taxi queue.
5.1 Whilst standing in the rain in the taxi queue, I pulled on this goddamn motherfucking Eddie Bauer coat and thought, hmmm. It seems to have grown. I reached inside one pocket and thought, hmmm. This is not my lip balm. I reached inside the other pocket and thought well, this is not my crumpled Kleenex.
5.1.1 I stood there for a minute, a little stunned, and wondered if I should steal this stranger's coat that I was already standing outside wearing, in the rain.
5.1.2 I did not steal a stranger's coat.
5.1.3 I walked back into the terminal and dropped off the coat at the United baggage claim lost & found. Then I walked back outside, stood in queue in the rain without a coat, and took a taxi home.