Every new beginning

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journal
Chicago
It’s com­ing down for me this way
I’ll be calm for you and fearless
It’s com­ing from a heat­ed place
A place that means it’s something
It’s com­ing down for me this way
I’ll be calm for you and fearless

-Rhye, Blood Knows

Wel­come to my 1st offi­cial legit post in my 1st legit new niche blog thang I got going on here. Let’s see if I can make it into some­thing trag­i­cal­ly beautiful.

The title of this is a piece from the last karaōke song sang in the Windy City : Clos­ing Time by Semi­son­ic. Every new begin­ning comes from some oth­er begin­ning’s end, yeah ! My begin­ning’s end was on a Fri­day, Aug 31 2019. My trust­wor­thy Hon­da Civic is ful­ly loaded with my stuff. I’ve got a playlist with 5 star rat­ed songs, snacks and my crazy canine com­padre in back : sabi the dog. I gave him some drowsi­ness-induc­ing chews which knocked him out most of the way. Dur­ing this time he was still a bit ram­bunc­tious and had too much ner­vous ener­gy. The last minute my neigh­bor, a Nubian princess named ‘Paris’ lol asked me to help move the bed I gave her into her place. Alas, heroes’ work is nev­er complete.

The way there

My new begin­ning await­ed me in Chapel Hill. I drove out of the city like a bat out of hell, yeah ! fast times ! heck yeah ! I cried out as I did 85 – 90 from Chi­town all the way to Indi­anapo­lis. The 2‑lane-only high­way cut through a swath of dull-look­ing flat farm­land. I’d nev­er been to Indi­anapo­lis, no rea­son to. I’ll give it cred­it where cred­it is due it’s clean­er and pret­ti­er than I’d imag­ined it would be. A col­lege town with some his­toric-look­ing build­ings. I dipped into the lob­by of a trendy Hilton hotel chain with some for­get­table name to relieve my blad­der. Enjoy­ing their free gourmet Star­bucks cof­fee in the lob­by. I hate Star­bucks but if it’s free it ain’t so bad ! hah hah. Lit­tle Chica­go tricks, nobody knows I’m not a guest here. Ben­e­fits of being Asian every­body thinks you’re a tourist stay­ing in the hotel lol.

I leave Indi­anapo­lis behind after hav­ing had 5 Guys’ burg­er & fries for lunch, and played with Sabi in the park, which amused a con­gre­ga­tion of home­less bums who smiled at the sight of him. I drove 2.5 hrs to Lex­ing­ton and checked into Rama­da inn. Down­town Lex­ing­ton is beau­ti­ful but eeri­ly emp­ty. I felt the intense south­ern sun’s heat, it was more than Chica­go even at the height of sum­mer. When I was leav­ing the sub­tle faint chill of an impend­ing win­ter was start­ing to form. Sum­mer in the windy city was such a sad joke. By the time you even came close to lov­ing it was cut short.

From Lex­ing­ton, I cut through Ten­nessee into the Blue Ridge Moun­tains onto Asheville, NC. I got to see moun­tains up close for the first time state­side. I’d been in moun­tains in the Philip­pines, in Puer­to Rico, Cos­ta Rica, and South Korea but nev­er in the U.S for what­ev­er rea­son. Asheville was brief, stayed in a lux­u­ry hotel that allowed pets. Nev­er slept in a hotel on top of a small sum­mit before, was a trip. From here it was only 3.5 hrs to Chapel Hill, NC. That’s where I was going to be stay­ing for a few months in my sis­ter’s cozy Airbnb. She want­ed me to stay for 6 months but I was want­i­ng my own crib already. Found a town­house in what I could only describe as The Shire. All it need­ed was Fro­do Bag­gins and Gan­dalf. A town­house for $200 less than my con­do back in the Windy City, with my own park­ing space and swim­ming pool, and in-unit laun­dry. Only I hat­ed the elec­tric range stove and hav­ing to pay for actu­al water.

Not only do I have to deal with the jux­ta­po­si­tion between city life and being in a new place entire­ly but Covid struck. I returned to Chica­go on busi­ness just pri­or to the scam­dem­ic. Weird feel­ing, nos­tal­gia kicks in. I go around as a tourist and haunt some old places of mine. The city is cold and dark, it bears an indif­fer­ence towards you. You did­n’t mat­ter much hard­ly at all. every­body seemed so pecu­liar to me now. In NC they greet­ed you, wel­comed you, knew you. In the windy city you were just a name­less enti­ty. It was very Machi­avel­lian. The city also had the effect of drain­ing your soul, and your vital­i­ty in such a way that you weren’t any­thing but a human bat­tery in this matrix-like box. It felt as if I lived in a gigan­tic mega mall most of my life, and it was far too tight. You were bound to run into an ex fling, an ex-arch ene­my, an ex-friend you had a falling out with. In the end you lat­er learn they were just strangers all along dis­guised as a friend to get some­thing out of you. To learn your style and secrets, your secret fears and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties. In the end most of them were thieves real­ly. They stole your time, your secrets, your trust and made you more cyn­i­cal about life.

2020 – 21 : accli­mat­ing, deal­ing with the crazy shit going on. the anar­chists burn­ing places & busi­ness­es with impuni­ty, cor­rupt DA’s and judges, elec­tion fraud (it hap­pened), and a secret war hap­pen­ing in the nation. I could­n’t even make this up if I tried.

Through all of this, I’ve start­ed to adjust despite the chaos and death that seemed so per­va­sive through­out the nation. The vast, exten­sive depth of cor­rup­tion is stag­ger­ing. Amer­i­ca will need an epic-sized wake-up call to sober up and come to its sens­es before it’s too late.

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