God only knows how but I managed to return the car, code name Sox, on time to downtown Chicago this morning with: a full tank. This was entirely serendipitous; at least that’s what I am choosing to call my misplaced driving round the mean streets during which I happened upon a gas station. See, how I can now speak Yankee Doodle Dandy…
I left north Michigan this morning at 6. It was freezing with a bulging crescent moon and a clear starry sky to rival those night skies I have seen over Devon. I had about 4 hours sleep so when I started up the car it was with a sense of anxiety, not helped by AC/DC singing a Highway to Hell as my travelling overture.
You get an extra hour driving west and I needed it, dropping the car off at just after 11 am, a putative four hour trip having taken me six. My ability to travel slowly even when seemingly driving fast never ceases to confound me. Or others, I suspect.
Anyway I dropped off Sox in the subterranean car park and wished him well. I hope he makes it back to his Rocky Mountain home state some day.
Since we parted ways I’ve been waiting. I spent an hour like a pan handler on a street corner downtown; suddenly the adventure, the emotions, the fatigue and the sheer weight of my literal load did for me.
I sat in a shaft of sun between two skyscrapers and got my head together. I ate a turkey pastrami sandwich on rye that had been packed for me and sorted through my rubbish to lighten my luggage. For that hour it felt like that was my corner of this vast continent. I am glad to be going home but sad to leave. I’m frustrated I didn’t get time to go to Detroit, or Mackinac Island; that I haven’t seen the cherry trees in blossom or the ice melted on the lake. Perhaps another time. For now this is my spot in the world and it just about encapsulates how I feel.
*This post was composed in a coffee shop, still waiting. I also put in a shift waiting on a railway platform in the sunshine. I was waiting for the hostel to open @ 3 – which it has.
The waiting is over.