Someone tell FEMA to turn off the sirens and send back the army. After a fun-filled week, Hurricane Arley has swept out of East-Central Illinois, leaving behind a swath of destruction in her wake; (beef brisket platters demolished! Beer bottles left empty! Frozen yogurt shops sold out of cheesecake-flavoured yogurt and brownie bits and white chocolate chips!). And, honestly, Hurricane Arley is feeling more than a little emo about the whole situation, so much so that I might even go a day without coming up with an outlandish simile about the way I walk. You might want to shout, "Geeze, Arley, relax. Think of the starving children in Africa" before you read this post, just to get that reaction out of your system.
I had a very hard time leaving Champaign Urbana, in part because the phrases “hip replacement” and “potential nerve damage” and “waiting for someone to figure out what’s wrong with me so I can get on with my life” don’t translate into cat-speak and it was difficult watching Mika flatten her ears back whenever I came close and give me an expression of pure feline anger that said “don’t play nice with me. I remember what happens when I give you my little kitty heart and sit on your lap and sleep curled in the crook of your arm. You go away and I am forced to take time out of my busy day of terrorizing squirrels and warming myself on people’s laptop keyboards to miss you, then to realize that you are not coming back and transfer my affections to A. I won’t be making that mistake again!” Oh, Mika. Why were you not hardwired to understand abstract concepts? Even young children can understand, "Now, go to sleep and when you wake up mommy will be back from the bar and hopefully she'll have hooked you a new daddy." (Reason #145 why I do not have children).
Before the hip replacement, even my most serious medical problems did not force me to change my lifestyle—well, except for a case of SuperMono that forced me into a lifestyle of watching "The Girls Next Door" and complaining about how heart medication was making my head tingle. I would just give my body a little pep talk ("I don't care if you're about to explode, spleen! Chill the fuck out because we're off to play some basketball!" "You know what, hip? You better get back in that socket before I try slamming you against a doorframe again. Don't make me call J.B.!") and go on my merry way. Alas, "going on my merry way" somehow translated into "running my hip into the ground and causing it to be replaced 10 years before the doctors felt comfortable doing so" and now I'm stuck in Vancouver (I guess there are worse places to be stuck, but still) while doctors figure out what went wrong.
This is all very frustrating, because I have a very finite period of time in which to live the kind of life I want to live. My work visa is only good until July and unless I get another job (or, you know, some handsome stranger sees me tip-toe-shuffling along the street and realizes that I am the six-foot-tall, crazy-haired, funky-walking Amazon woman of his dreams, marries me and whisks me off to a life of endless chai lattes and attractive babies) I'll be on the first bus back to Canada. Even if I did convince someone to employ (or marry) me, many of the people I care about are leaving the Champaign-Urbana area next year. My days of laying on A.'s couch listening to Pavement records and talking about books...or going to "Mexico" with my teammates...or watching Top Chef/ Project Runway at A & K's place are therefore numbered and the sand is running out of the "quaint Midwestern college town living" hourglass.
The last time I left Urbana, I was convinced I would be back for good within 6 weeks. I had weddings and cakes and early Fall to look forward to. Now, however, Vancouver is settling into 6 months of constrant drizzle and who knows when I'll be back to Champaign? If I were a whinier person, I would remind the universe that I'm not asking for a million dollars and a gold-plated pony (though, that would be nice), and that all I want to is to spend some time in a small college town in a house that hosts more toads/mice/squirrels/spiders/"cave crickets" than a Disney movie, do some writing and hang out for a few more months with my friends while figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life...and to do all this while not walking like a meth addict with a wooden leg trying to dance The Nutcracker Suite. (Ok, apparently my crankiness does not correlate to my ridiculous-simile-use). It's all enough to make me download some Bright Eyes, and strum meloncholy downstrokes on my guitar while singing in an affected, quasi-Dylan whimper and wearing flannel ironically.
Alright. Enough with the airport pity party! (I'm currently chilling in the Seattle airport....for five hours...which is probably the time it takes to walk to Vancouver from here.) I have happier memories to relate. Since I was determined to squeeze one last bit of gluttony into my vacation, A. and I went for breakfast this morning at the Original House of Pancakes, where I was served pumpkin pancakes with a dollop of whipped cream that was literally the size of an infant’s head. Since I was feeling a little queasy from the two pints of beer I’d consumed at the Black Dog the night before—the fact that I always get drunk after consuming very little at The Black Dog makes me wonder if they slip a sprinkling of roofies into every pint—I actually did the mature thing and scraped most of the whipped cream off. A. and I drank coffee, talked about the contradictions of midwestern gas stations (a topic I actually care quite a bit about), and then drove home watching girls in short dresses and smudgy makeup shuffle home. Then, K.L drove me to the airport, thus saving me $50 and a hot date with the duct-taped seats of the Lex Bus, (thanks K.L) and we had a nice chat. It was a great end to a week's reprieve from physio and ass massages and Saturday nights watching wedding shows and commercials for singles hotlines.
Ok, Vancouver. It looks like you and I will be seeing a lot of one another. Can we make peace, preferrably in the form of a few sunny days and some hangout-time with the few friends I have the Lower Mainland?