I've been in Chicago for just over two weeks, and I've still not had a novel published. Or formed a band and wowed the local audiences. Or done anything with any of the inclinations that I like to think of as "talents".
There's still time. The Social Security office seems disinclined to issue me a number, which is a little irritating since I already technically have one. The thing with endless free time, is that it's not actually endless. I love having the time to cook for Gina in the evenings, and wander around the city as I please. I tend to get out of bed not long after Gina does, just because I always seem to wake up early and can't get back to sleep. But after a long breakfast, too much time arsing around on the internet and maybe half an hour reading, when I reach the point at which I feel I ought to start doing something productive, I just can't.
I'll open one of a dozen word documents and stare at stuff I wrote when I was out of the house from 6:30am to 5:30pm each day, and wonder how I did it. I'll stare at my guitar, amp and effects pedals and wonder how I managed to record something that the more generous music critics would call an "album" last year.
Or I'll go on the internet. Half-heartedly tab up a few sites for current interests that would satisfy the urge to do something creative. Brew my own beer (where, on the back porch? I guess, why not?), fix up the bike that was generously donated by someone who knows how to use her time in a worthwhile manner. That kind of thing. Then I'll just click onto Twitter (because I'm far too far up my own arse to admit to wasting serious time on Facebook), and there goes an afternoon.
And you know what? I love it. I keep getting these flashes of realism in my mind, and I tell myself "I live here". This morning Gina and I got our marriage license, from a building just across the Daley Plaza from where the Blues Brothers paid their taxes and were finally apprehended. I can go for a walk an end up in the neighbourhood where John Cusack moped away his life in a record store in High Fidelity. I can walk out to Lake Michigan. You know, that enormous, serene, wet bastard that freezes the crap out of this entire region in the winter (now).
Oh right, I should, like, talk about what I've been doing and junk, right. Went to a British-themed prom, drank lots of free beer, made friends with the natives (or the colonials? Presumably I was the native at this event?). Signed up to volunteer with 826CHI, the organisation that, uh, organised the prom. Settled in. Felt like home.
Oh right. The thing that inspired this post was how suddenly adult I feel. In a good way. Living my life the way I want, being sensible in what and how I eat, browsing in bookshops. That kind of thing. It's good. I like it. I think I'll stay.