|Photo from STLToday.com|
I moved to St. Louis with nothing but my bicycle. Because I'd been in Chicago far too long. Because I wanted an adventure. Because I thought I could handle it.
I found a room in a house with a bunch of other people. A single mother in her twenties. A bored gay couple close to my age. An older woman. And two mean cats.
They liked to drink and play a game called Soap Opera, which consisted of them saying the most cruel and hateful things to each other. Some were true, others weren't. Sometimes their angry fights were genuine, sometimes they were just pretending. I was never quite sure when they were playing the game.
St. Louis was lonely, even for a staunch introvert like me. These were the only people I knew in the entire city, so I did my best to fit in.
One evening, just a few weeks after I moved in, the outrage and shouting drove me out of the house. Everyone thought this was hilarious. I got on my bike and left.
But of course I didn't know my way around. I passed a grocery store, a series of small office buildings, and a shopping center with fast-food restaurants I didn't recognize. Eventually I found myself at the riverfront, wondering what I was going to do.
I could go back to the house and stay in my room as much as possible. I could find some sort of a job and save my money. I could find a new place to live and start over yet again.
Or I could go back to Chicago.
So I started to pedal, knowing only that I needed to head north. I'd been in St. Louis long enough. It would be an adventure. I thought I could handle it.