Sunday, September 7, 2014

The End is Near

One more week left of work. Three more weeks left in Chicago. I know how I feel about it; what I'm not prepared for is how I'll feel about it later, which is something I'll just have to find out.

Katerina's, a bar I visited early in Chicago for a Big Lebowski showing, closed last month: Katerina is retiring.

Last Sunday I stopped in a pet-supply place that I use as emergency-hay supply when I misjudge how much I have left (Joe's Parkview Pet Supply is closed Sundays). I learned that it would be closing, since the owner and her dog had both passed away a few months ago.

A few days later I went to Joe's store and he took me aside to tell me he was closing his shop at the end of the year, as online-sales sites were killing him. His prices are the best you'll find anywhere, but he can't compete with online sites. It was all I could do not to cry.

The Landmark in Andersonville is closing -- The oner can't afford to keep the shop; rents are too high.

Icosium Cafe closed.

Life is about change, don't I know that lesson, but the loss of dear things is crushing.  I fear we are looking at a destruction of natural resources and society that is unprecedented. Those of us who cherish interpersonal connections and who don't live life through a digital screen are finding it harder and harder to maintain stability and familiarity. It may seem hypocritical to mourn the loss of things I'm moving away from, but their passing signals for me a larger loss, a greater instability.

For my part, I've got a tenant for my place, a seemingly nice young woman; and I'm painting my green walls to a neutral shade, which I have to say looks pretty elegant. The U-Haul is reserved, my best friend is coming down from Canada to help me, and two friends are driving a vehicle with the animals inside.  The mid-point hotel is reserved, the utilities are scheduled for cutoff, I've sold or given away most of my furniture and divested myself of things I no longer wear, use, or need. Letting go has been easier than I thought. Part of it is recognizing that the shit you own owns you (thanks, Fight Club), and part of it is realizing that you can't take it with you, and it might was well go to another home that will appreciate it. I like to think of my vet friend having friends over for dinner and saying, "I got this table from my friend JC. We bonded over her rabbits."

Last week I saw Hank Williams: Lost Highway with a friend who belongs to the theater putting it on, and it was of course phenomenal, and I reflected on the amazing things I've been so lucky to have experienced, how random and wonderful it has been. I met this friend while waiting for an open seat at a show, and striking up a conversation. I met another friend because I took a crochet (!) class. For a girl who was pathologically self-conscious through her twenties, I feel blessed to have gotten to this place, and I'll always be grateful that I took this chance nine years ago and put myself out there. It's time to go, but it won't be a clean break, and I'm glad I'll retain a connection to Chicago. it will be fun to come back for pure recreation, to enjoy the good without the jobs and the commute and the mundane drudgery.

In the meantime, there is always more stuff to do. So it's time to finish my iced tea here at Sol Cafe, and bike back to the apartment and the critters and the boxes.

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