I haven’t been to Chicago for anything outside a work-related stop in nearly three weeks.
And right now, I don’t miss it.
Part of it is, of course, I have more important things to tend to right now. A friend breaks her hip, I’m not about to let her go.
But there’s also the disassociation I’ve been having with Chicago over the past year and a half.
That started with a wedding I went to of a friends, when I commented that I was the only one I knew amongst family and friends who wasn’t married. While I considered the people I knew in Chicago as friends until then, I didn’t count them at that moment.
Then the poetry scene, long falling apart, started really collapsing then. Venues I had known had closed up, people I knew moved out of town, and some venues that should have shut down didn’t. Worse yet, outside of Jameson/Porter, the remaining people in the scene were the crazy ones — the saner ones left as soon as they could.
Then work interrupted. While I needed the money, I sure didn’t need the loss of time. Not only that, but whatever time I had for writing was suddenly eaten up.
A couple other things happened…then the friend broke her hip…
And now, I have to ask myself whether I’d even want to return.
It’s not like I’m in the middle of a creative storm. In fact, I’ve been unable to write for eight months or so. I’d read some old stuff, but that gets a bit old without new stuff to follow up with. And besides, constantly traveling over 40 miles each way gets tiring, especially when you’re not there more than two hours.
So…when things cool down and I’m able to relax a bit, I’ll have to ask a question:
Do I care about Chicago anymore?
Seriously. While Northwest Indiana isn’t any place to live, I’m sure even I could make a go here. After all, I’ve been out here over seven years, and while I’m not necessarily what I was when I moved here, age could easily account for whatever changes happened.
And besides, I’ve spent 15 years writing to an audience. Maybe now it’s time for me to try writing to publish. Maybe I should change my audience.
Maybe I should trust myself.
After all, what will last longer, a voice or text on a page? I’ve yet to hear Socrates’ voice, or Virgil’s, yet I’ve read some of their works. And in the end, they (or those who wrote for them) had to write for themselves, to trust themselves.
Think about it…