Fort Wayne and Chicago

I had trouble getting momentum to leave Cincinnati and went through a stack of mental note cards trying to remember the thing I forgot to say or the item I forgot to pack.  Having found none of either and seeing that I was an hour behind, I left into Cincinnati traffic and then received a text message indicating what I’d forgotten: my pillow.

Chad and I were set to meet for a late lunch and shortly before meeting I received a message from him saying that this was the part where I was supposed to cancel last minute.  Of the dozen times I’ve driven to Chicago, I’ve only successfully met up with Chad on the way during a quarter of them.  After a false start, we met in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut and shook hands with the slimmer, bearded Chad whose first words to me were “what happened to you.  It looks like you’ve been shot you lost so much weight”.

We caught up over lunch and then returned to his house where, his entire family including wife and three daughters were present.  We watched Return of the Jedi with his two youngest daughters of which the older is a Star Wars fan.  She watched the construction of the second Death Star over Endor and commented to her father “Daddy, what’s happening to Darth Vader’s house?”  As precious as this moment was, this child was showing non-encyclopedic knowledge of the sacred texts of Star Wars, episodes 4-6, and I was in nerd rage over her usage of the title “fan” until I remembered John Siracusa’s comment: Clone Wars is their Star Wars.  In the same way I prefer Next Gen to Star Trek: The Original Series, she recognized these movies as the same universe but the relation of the parts didn’t quite make sense.  Let us see where her allegiances lay as she grows older.

Chad made dinner and I enjoyed his skillet potatoes and grilled pork chops and after talking some more I left to make the long ride home, via Chicago.  My initial crazy plan was to leave from Chad’s and drive the 12 hours home but instead I replaced that with a three hour drive to Chicago where I would stay over with Peter and Audrey.  After arriving there dead tired I was glad I didn’t soldier home.

I had driven some 1000 miles to get to the Condo Above the World but the door opened like I was from a few doors down and just popping in.  I would enjoy a future where Peter and I had proximity on our side.  We talked about boring adult topics like stretch marks, taxes, academic politics, and plantar warts.  It was lovely.