Despite the balmy breezes and the faint aroma of night blooming jasmine that rides them, I am tired of living in Florida. Even though I can plant blooming flowers, and walk my dog around the block in shorts and a tee shirt in February, I am tired of living in Florida. I am tired of the extremely high price of hurricane insurance, the threat of those hurricanes, the bugs, the rats, the unrelenting heat and humidity eight months of the year, and I am tired of the guns that make every encounter with assholes scarier than they should be. Most of my family live in the Chicago area, most of the friends I have left live there too. When my last two drinking buddies move away from here next month I will be condemned to sitting at the bar with only Mark to talk to. I do that all day long anyway. So my plan has been to sell my house here and move back to Chicago. Yes, I know that Chicago has gun problems, mostly in bad neighborhoods, but at least my family wouldn't have to travel far to my funeral. Over the last twenty five years I have missed out on seeing all sorts of family occasions, celebrations, and nieces and nephews growing up. What I really miss are the things to do in a big city. If I lived in Chicago, every Sunday in the fall I wouldn't have to scramble to find a Bears game on the internet. I could go to Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs blow a lead in person. There are world class museums there, and theater.
I have been trying to sell Mark on this idea for eight years now. First there was the crash of the housing market that delayed things. Then there was the fact that Mark has issues with his health. Still, I have been able to get Mark to look at such a move more approvingly by pointing out that Chicago has much better health care. All I needed to push this thing ahead was for global climate change to do its thing. I have been waiting and waiting for the average temperature in Chicago to climb to a more livable degree. This winter has not been very helpful. I thought that I had almost got Mark to agree to such a move, and then I turned on the weather channel by mistake yesterday. Fifty fucking mile per hour winds? More cold and snow after what had been there was turned into a giant Slurpee this week? Maybe when we are up there next August the weather will be great, and Mark will have forgotten all the horror stories he saw on the evening news this winter. Or maybe I will just have to get used to talking to Mark when we go out drinking.