I am in the passenger seat, driving from Gary Indiana back to Chicago. A song I love is on a short loop over and over. It greeted me in the morning too–when I sprung out of Midway and into the car, when I threw my arms around my sweet friend. The air is hot and heavy but the sky is so so blue. There is so much to do but nothing to do about it so we ride along and listen to the music and talk about arranged marriages and a life that seems so far away and lunch plans and where to stop and how can you possibly measure happiness.

I have just given a presentation in a broken down convention center–where everything was locked and empty and falling apart. While we wandered around trying to find space for ourselves we followed signs to the “arena” to see what what once must have been the hottest place to place but now looks more like a mummy, a relic, bones of a life that was once so much more full but is now just an echo, strains of a song playing in the background of a memory.

I am in a taxi, nauseous from exhaustion having woken up at 4:30 am to make this trip in one day. Sick from my efforts to hurtle through the skies twice. I am heading home to my boy, to my house to my garden and as though an angel touches me on the shoulder I fall deep deep into a silent sleep. Then suddenly it sounds as if a bomb goes off and the blue sky is grey and swirling and the wind is pushing the taxi but the driver holds it steady and I am amazed at how suddenly everything changes.

The storm has held up all the flights. I wander up and down and explore Midway, an airport that is different from the last time I was here. I never fly here–always choose O’Hare but this time the proximity to Gary made me a pioneer and kicked me from routine. Everything is new, not familiar. Everything is shiny and different and exciting and the three hours delay practically disappears.

So so tired. Unable to find a comfortable position. Air blowing directly on me. Three hours on the tarmac but everyone has been so kind. But sleep. Sleep is not kind. There is no telling when the airport will open, if we will make it home. There is nothing to do but close eyes and be tired and sing songs in my head to Max and hope they will put him to sleep.

I stumble through a door, some 22 hours later after I crossed its threshhold last, a song still playing on a short loop in my head, a song I sing as I smooth his sweaty head and whisper “mama’s home”.

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