Milwaukee: Home

An excerpt from the 2013 Fall issue

Flight 115 from Tampa to Milwaukee left at 2:25pm, she had gotten to the airport the usual two hours early, and four drinks in. It had been over three years since she had been back to her childhood home and there was a reason for that, a damn good reason; she swore she never would again. Oh my God, what the hell am I supposed to do now? I have two hours before the plane even begins boarding, I can’t just sit here and watch all these moronic Mickey-Mouse fools. Her stomach was jumpy, nauseous, her hands unsteady and shaky. She ran to the bathroom and began ripping through her carry on. She liked to drink, a lot. But she didn’t consider herself a drunk, and she was pretty sure nobody else did either. Well maybe the cab driver did. Fuck him, she thought. He couldn’t even speak English for Christ sake. She had called the cab from a bar near her house, The Hideaway. She had been there many times, and everyone knew her face and name. It was kind of her new hangout on the weekends, and now, apparently, when she was going home.

“Go ahead girlfriend, you’ll make it. Just do what you gotta do up there then come on back. I’ll have a bunch of shots lined up for us when you get here.” Lana was a very sweet, flamboyant, and (use to be) Leonard. She always took good care of me when she worked. She was from Vegas. She never talked about her past much. I figured she probably wasn’t ever going back home either. She had her reasons. I had mine.

“I can’t do it Lana.” I started to lightly cry. “I can’t go back there and relive all those fucking memories. I just can’t do it.”
“Then don’t go, baby-girl. No one is forcing you to go, hun.”

But I knew I had to go. My father had been good to me, real good. I couldn’t let him down, and it was because of him that I was finally going back; back to Milwaukee. “One more Lana, then I have to go before I lose my nerve.” She watched Lana slowly empty the bottle of tequila and then it was gone.