We’re Not in Ohio Anymore

I walk the busy city streets, hands buried deep within my tweed jacket which offers little to no protection from the harsh elements of the brutal Chicago winter. I clawed at the lining of the coat, desperately searching for the final cigarette of my pack that I could’ve sworn I had stuck in the right pocket before leaving the dorms. “Fuck!!!” I exclaimed before spinning on the heels of my Chucks and walking back towards State Street. One or two people looked at me as I yelled, however for the most part, everyone continued walking. I began thinking. “Something like that would never have happened where I’m from. All the citizens of Wyoming, Ohio would have gasped, several would have leapt for their children and covered their ears, others would have glared disapprovingly.” I thought to myself.
For the first time in my entire stay here, I realized something. This is not home. This is not home to me and no matter how much I hate Ohio, Chicago will never be my home. But after last night, I need my home more than ever. I needed something more familiar than the overbearing architecture of city life, something warmer than the gray of the inescapable asphalt. I began to walk south, fighting the flow of human traffic in a struggle to escape the environment surrounding me.
As I walked I began to wonder if home would really solve these problems. Home even had problems of its own. I wasn’t even sure what home meant at this point. I hadn’t gone back for Thanksgiving for that very reason. Although I’ve only been here for so long, I feel overwhelmed by this sense of disconnect. Not just from home, although it’s been on my mind for so long now, but even with my current state. That’s what scared me the most. I’m not even sure if I go home if it’ll be the same or if I’ll even recognize it. I collapsed on the sidewalk, pushing my back against the cold marble of the nearest building and drawing my knees in close to my chest. Sitting there, I cried. I cried for the home I had lost and the home I would never have.


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