My Imminent Departure from Chicago

Second (and likely last) in a series

By Ben Timberlake

Love ‘em if you got ‘em. The Chicago area has been my home for nearly six years – ever since I slipped and referred to going back to school as “home” to my mom during winter break freshman year at Northwestern. I couldn’t wait to get back and see my new friends. Those new friends, now old and good friends, have been joined by many others. They’re the hardest thing to say goodbye to.

It will be difficult not having access to good cinema, hip bookstores, kick-ass music shows, and an international buffet of restaurants. But most of all, I will miss my friends when I leave Chicago.

I realized a few years ago the appeal of remaining in one place – especially a small town – all one’s life. Even when you’re going to something good, whenever you leave someplace, you’re always leaving good people and that’s never easy.

I’ll miss you. I’ll miss the jokes we’ve kept running far too long. I’ll miss the deep late-night conversations in cars. I’ll miss meeting up for a beer. I’ll miss hugging you. But we’ll both have good things to look forward to and maybe it’s better to look forward than back.

No, let’s keep looking back for a second. Let me look back to thank you. Thank you for keeping me in line. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for making me laugh so hard I cry. Thanks for being so nice to me that I cry. Thank you for letting me trust you. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for letting me sleep on your couch. Thank you for not yelling at me. Thank you for not running in horror sometimes. Thank you for making me better. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

When I think of my friends, I think of myself standing as part of a big circle of people that’s joined with other circles. I can see all my friends’ faces and I think how lucky I am to have each of them as a friend. It’s easy to think that you’ll find good people anywhere and maybe that’s true. But I can’t help feel that I blindly stumbled into an incredible network of people that just couldn’t be duplicated.

Sometimes my friends have frustrate me. It’s inevitable. Almost all of my friends have frustrated me at one time or another, as I am so very sure I have frustrated them. It’s a sign of meaning that they should. I regret not loving them more at those moments and I regret even more so those times when I’ve let it show. Please remember it only got to me because you’ve meant so much to me.

The choice to leave has made me remember to love my friends because though friendship endures, proximity is ephemeral. So love your friends. Love them if you’ve got dozens or only one. Pick them up, treat them well. Tell them you love them. Love your friends as much as you hope they love you.





Even though Baja Phats Presents has not updated in the last couple of weeks, this is likely the last new piece for a few weeks more. Both administrators are moving and at least one will be without internet access for a while. Please enjoy the archives and continue to produce new stuff, since everything we’ve seen so far has been just fantastic.

When we come back, we will kick off with our first visual/textual piece by a mysterious character who calls himself “Little Man.” Expect this in the first week of September.


Past pieces presented by Baja Phats

Untitled by Stefanie DeLuca
My Imminent Departure from Chicago by Ben Timberlake
A Guide To Winning at Ms. Pac-Man and, thus, at Life by Secho


About contributors to Baja Phats

The Baja PHAQ

Now you can pay to read Baja Phats Presents!