sudden, unconventional family waiting for the bus
dripping rain on our luggages, 1am Chicago time. The pilot Matt (or was it Mack?)
says this is the first time he’s seen O’Hare like this. The woman in the red jacket agrees
and hugs her purse close. When the Country Inn shuttle pulls up, we rush
squeezing into seats, holding each other’s luggage and making room for standing.
Matt is the last one on. We bounce down the highway laughing, making jokes about
spring break and beer runs. “I need a drink!” people keep yelling as we pass
shady convenience stores. LIQUOR. BEER. CIGARETTES.
For these twenty minutes, we become best friends. I say something
and everyone laughs. The guy next to me makes a comeback. (Do they know
this is my only dream?) We pull up to the hotel’s automatic doors.
The round Texan man with a barbecue drawl lets me out first.