Willingly in Cleveland. O-H-I-O.

Caroline Walsh
5 min readJan 2, 2024
Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash

Landing in Cleveland feels like hitting a brick wall. Maybe I’m being impatient with the jetlag, but even in the comfort of my wonderful family, I feel like the coffee isn’t working. I had a layover in Denver, since I don’t think Cleveland has many or any West Coast direct flights. The first thing I heard when I boarded the Cleveland-bound flight was someone immediately start talking to their seat mate about how they lived in Canton. I had my headphones in my ears and at that point I turned a podcast on. I didn’t want to remember where Canton was. Anywhere else in the world, I didn’t usually mind a little small talk, brief connection with a stranger, nice exchange, all of it, but for some reason, the chit chat here just doesn’t do it for me.

I’ve always given this city a hard time, and I’m sure somewhere in my healing I am supposed to make peace with Cleveland. It is not the land of my birth, but the place where I grew up. But for now, all I have are taglines. If you are my friend from Cleveland, you can close this window now.

Cleveland: Where you can go to sleep in the same sweat pants you wore all day

Cleveland: Home of Duct Tape and Jeffrey Dahmer

Cleveland: I understand why Lebron went to LA

Today, I went to the little ski area in our gray suburban paradise to watch my niece while…



Caroline Walsh

Former CIA Analyst and Coastie. PhD Student. Author of Fairly Smooth Operator: My life occasionally at the tip of the spear, available now!