Chicago, for God's sake, Chicago.
I moved up here recently. A while ago. A month, to be precise. Unlike previous adventures that led me far from the Old Dominion State, this one smacks of permanence. I've met people, explored the city, eaten the food, found a job, and invested like an adult, yet nobody told me it felt like this to grow up. Somewhere on the fifteen hour drive up here, my Honda loaded with most of my belongings, somewhere between Ohio and Indiana where the long bends of the highway stretched to the horizon and the dust started kicking up hard from the eighteen-wheelers, somewhere near where the timezone shifted an hour back and for my efforts I was rewarded with an extra hour - somewhere in the midst of these old travel familiarities I realized that I would be expected to take on responsibilities.
It was at that point that I began considering alternative exits. Still, I pushed on.
And there it was, cutting a formidable skyline against a gorgeous blue stage, buildings jutting haphazardly in all directions. Chicago laid out before me, corners hiding so many secrets that I nearly shook with anticipation despite the heat. A traveler with a destination like this needs no other reward than a clear sky and a world of possibilities.
After a month, the initial shock ought to have worn off, unless I have a thing for bustling city life framed by gorgeous architecture. There's always that. I'm not ruling it out, is what I'm saying. I have new friends griping with good-natured grins about how dull Chicago can feel at times, and I can only smile back - confident that they would just love the extreme night life of Hampton Roads. Italics in this case indicate sarcasm. In case that was not a signal you could identify.
I could take on a whole new identity here, but I miss Virginia far too much. So for now I'll be this weird bastard hybrid travel-child. Settled down - for the time being.
After all, I can't let the maps get too dusty.