Long Walk Home

I’m drinking a beer on my deck looking up at the clouds thinking, ‘Where did the sky go?’

I thought I had a pretty good patch of sky reserved for myself. As New York goes, I guess I do. Some nights, when the light’s just right, I can even see a faint star or two.

Tonight, though, I feel cheated. I see nothing but bricks, mortar, and a few nicotine-colored clouds.

I guess it’s to be expected.

Jason introduced me to a mentor of his, his photography professor who now writes for The Des Moines Register. I told him my time in Iowa had me rethinking my life in New York City.

“Everybody falls in love on vacation,” he said.


Hanging out with local heroes is intoxicating. Standing on stage every night is euphoric. Making music with passionate souls is exhilarating. Spending time with warm, enthusiastic people is magical.

The romantic in me relishes the thought of returning to Iowa. I imagine myself making good there. I imagine slowing down. I imagine raising children in the big back yard of the Midwest. I imagine myself buried in the shade of the red maple beside my grandparents.

But I am back in New York City now. This is home. The reality of the situation is soul crushing: tourists in Times Square, subway delays, eigh dollar beers, an empty fridge, take-out dinner. This is my home. I built it. I chose it. It’s mine.

The crash was inevitable. I knew it.

Still, I keep re-reading the last line of Charidy’s email in my mind, over and over, like a mantra. Like it’s comes as some kind of surprise.

“There is no Oz, Dorothy.”

“There is no Oz, Dorothy.”

“There is no Oz, Dorothy.”

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