I’m waiting for the guys from the City to come back and pour concrete in the sidewalk mold they constructed last week. I’ve always known the sidewalk doesn’t belong to me, but it’s technically in my yard, and they didn’t even bother to tell me they’d be tearing it up to fix something below it. I guess maybe when the good city of Aurora decides to fix a problem, they figure their benevolence is in the fact that they don’t make the homeowner pay for it, maybe?
The Art of Letting Go
Inevitably, in the course of networking, I get the question: What brought you to Chicago? The easy answer, the answer I give when the conversation hasn't yet reached any depth, is that I took a corporate position. Oftentimes this leads to follow up questions about where I came from, which tends to be far more interesting to people than what I do.
No Rest for the Wicked
I'm not ashamed of the fact that I hit a lot of milestones early in my life. I met my husband when I was seventeen and married him when I was nineteen. I was twenty when I miscarried a baby at eight weeks. That happened on a Sunday. I saw my doctor the following Monday morning. He performed an ultrasound , confirmed the absence of a heartbeat, and told me miscarriages are really very common and I was young. He cleared me to return to work the next day, and so I did. I worked at McDonald's at the time, for $4.30 an hour, and I had already violated the rules by calling in sick the day of the shift in order to go see the doctor. I couldn't dare take the next day off. Any mourning I'd be inclined to do would have to wait. Interestingly enough, the doctor never even mentioned my mental health, never pointed me in the direction of any resources for how to process what had happened to me, and at the time, the internet wasn't yet an alternative for information and support communities. So I just worked through it by working through it.
He descended the steps to the basement timidly, each footfall an echo of winter on cold concrete. As he reached for the doorknob, the distinct smell of wet dog hit him and he paused; scrunched his nose, thought twice about going in. He was allergic to dogs. He might sneeze.
Nature of The Beast
The old man’s gaze was fixed on the fire, his profile glowing against the black of night. The skin on the side of his face stretched taut over his high cheekbone, the eye that I could see like an onyx marble reflecting the orange and yellow flames, his chin strong and reverent. His hair wasn’t long and thick in the way Native Americans look in National Geographic. It was modern and military cut, neon white in the contrast of darkness. The clothing he wore was indistinct, dark pants and a leather jacket. He wasn’t even sitting “Indian style”, but rather like a man who’s frame is large enough to cradle the universe- the stump beneath him a humble throne, callous-covered bare feet planted solidly on the ground, elbows on his knees. In his hands, he held a cup that offered steam to the smoke of the fire.
He was born when the Sun wrestled Gemini and fiery Leo loomed on the horizon. The stars never promised him much, the way he saw it. Maybe they held the backdrop of the universe in place, or maybe they were random balls of gas floating around waiting to collide. Maybe they were the whispered secrets of the gods, complex codes for understanding the past and predicting the future, but he found that theory amusing, at best.
Baby, I Get So Weak in the November Rain
I'd remember the title of "our song" even if it weren't written in the half-page love letter my high school boyfriend inscribed in my Sophomore yearbook. He'd graduated that year- 1994 -and unlike our less fortunate civilian teen counterparts, not only did we have to contend with graduation and uncertain matriculation- my family was moving back to the states. His was not.