Dear Chicago,

Excuse the language, but HOLY FUCK do I miss you.

I want nothing more than to be wrapped up in the arms of your neighborhoods, explore your once snow-buried streets, and watch the lake come back to life from it’s frozen winter nap.   I miss the little dogs in ridiculous winter garb as well as your residents bundled up in anything and everything.  I miss knowing that I could walk a few blocks, or just hop on a bus or train or even catch a cab and then I’d be able to get anything I could ever need: medicine, food, entertainment, booze, or hugs.

I’m slightly sad I wasn’t there to seek shelter or even go out exploring during the Blizzard.  I won’t have that shared memory.  And as each day creeps by, that’s one less moment I’ll have with you.  I don’t even care that as the snow melts the streets and sidewalks turn to gross brown slush, revealing all the trash from its hiding.

I miss your culture and museum free days.  Your buildings and brownstones, and walking through a neighborhood and just feeling like I am home — regardless of where I live in the vicinity or not.  I miss the river flowing through, and the expanse of the lake.  I miss cheering on your teams from your bars.  I miss your diverse food options — knowing that whether I want cupcakes or Indian food or Mexican or shitty bar food, I could find it.

I miss your people most of all.  The brunches and potlucks and surprise meetings on the bus.  I miss the concerts and readings.  I miss looking for familiar faces as I navigate your grid.  Hell, I even miss the hipsters.

You’ve stolen my heart, Chicago.  It pains me to be away like this.  I know it’s only temporary, but I miss you nonetheless.  Fingers crossed I’ll be back soon.