I’ve been frantically looking for an apartment in Chicago ever since I arrived in Green Bay: I’m anxious to get to work with the theatre company down there, but also, the sooner I find a place to live, the sooner I can get a “real” job and start paying back some of those huge student loans, which I like to personify as the Dragon with myself as St. George. This is not easy because my parents have a very. slow. internet. and I’m not familiar with Chi-town, so reading descriptions of neighborhoods goes completely over my head. I have a few leads, however, so Dad and I are driving down tomorrow to see a couple places. My parents have been very understanding of me, and if they’re smiling indulgently at my international airs at least they’re not letting me see it. Mom and I went out shopping yesterday for new trousers, since the courduroy ones I bought in London are literally falling off my a££ and I needed some more hair dye. (I know it will come as a shock to some of you that my Belle Watling red is not natural, but there you are.) Also I found new boots for $5. $5! Pointy-toed and fashionable! $5! Then Dad and I went out last night for a drink at St. Brendan’s, the closest thing to an Irish pub in Green Bay. It felt very normal to be sitting there clutching a pint of Newcastle instead of a can of Bud—not that I’m turning into a heavy drinker, I’m just a girl who knows what she likes*--and it was great to talk to Dad about our family and being in West Side Story in the sixties.
Today was the first break in the façade of okayness. I got a new cell phone and dad was asking me about the contract length. “Two years!” I said “I might as well sign a contract for two years since I’m stuck in this country!” Blink. “Er, no offence.” Dad suggested I should go back. I could have fought a little harder to stay, it’s true I didn’t do absolutely everything I could have, but I thought I wanted to be here. It’s just turning out to be harder than I thought to transition. Again, I think once I get a job and start meeting some new people, also theatrical therapy, I’ll be fine. Green Bay is a VERY small town. I’m at KaVarna’s right now, the “local” coffee shop, working on my new play, and having tea and scone. It’s not the barrista’s fault that she doesn’t know how to make tea, or that the only stuff they have here is horrid Earl Grey instead of an afternoon blend, nor that the scone is less scone and more “concrete with berries” and that I had to ask for an individual jug of milk because this is America and we have communal pitchers here and that it’s the little things like that which are adding up to make me sad. When that happens, of course, it’s time to consult the magic Stephen Sondheim eight-ball which tells us today “And you think of all of the things you’ve seen, and you wish that you could live in between, and you’re back again only different than before.”
Although, I’ve finally cleaned all the black stuff out of my sinuses, which can only been a good thing.