At which point, the protagonist thinks: he does not have to be perfect. Just date. Pretend. It does not have to be real. Make something up. Just live in Chicago. Here. Now. Next to me. That’s all.
And the protagonist grabs another black russian, and switches out the contacts for glasses, and goes to watch Carnivale.
The SO, who is originally from Wichita, KS, says: “Don’t you ever fear that you’ll get sucked back into your small town?
Me: Yes. Every damn day. Every time I go back. Every day.
Another drink, another day.
He does not have to be perfect.