After 24 long, sanity stripping hours of flight, 10 movies—some good, most bad—and five toddler tantrums—6 if you count the one I flushed down the toilet—I arrived. My legs languid and my mind muddy, along with a sea of other sad sacks, I dragged myself through customs, through baggage claim, past poorly constructed welcome signs and worn smiles, out into the crispness of the windy city to have a cigarette and process what the fuck just happened.
2 years I spent away from the ever-waving whip of red, white, and blue—flags as far as the eye can see. Who knew patriotism verging on the grotesque was such an American idea?
2 years away from me, me, me, rush here, rush there, and busying ourselves with busy for the sake of busy.
2 years is a long time.