The good news is you are reading this, you are alive.
You know that I love to start the day in a positive fashion, so there she blows.
We are home. That is more good news. We drove over 1800 miles during the last 6 days. Clover to Cincinnati. Cincinnati to Chicago and then reversed that trip.
The positive is that we didn’t get shot in Chicago. But they did have there, what has become to ordinary, shootings and killings.
I don’t say that to make Chicago look bad. I love Chicago. It is more a comment on society. The Wild West is alive throughout our land.
You would think that since we were traveling, I would refrain from news. But I pop my head into it, by habit. It isn’t healthy and is distracting. Reading news is simply one of the many habits that I have.
This was not a vacation as much as it was, a trip. I am not sure if you call going to a big city and going out and about and having your senses at top speed, a vacation.
Vacations, to me, are a more relaxed time where you chill and drink Cosmopolitans and watch the world go by and not give a care.
But trips can be good. And this was such a trip.
We were there for a pleasant business trip. One of our sons invited us. That is all I will say on this because some things I do keep private, but this was a proud weekend for us.
We are experts at the try from Clover to Cincinnati. Many people know the drill as I-75 seems to be the route to everywhere north and south.
It was the Cincinnati to Chicago leg that was our different scenery, although I have driven that route several times, too.
Flat. That is what it is between Cincinnati and Chicago. Fields of corn that are bigger than Rhode Island, stretch beyond the beyond.
One thing that struck us this time was the approximately, 10 mile stretch of windmills that we passed. Most of them were still, as there was little wind. All I could think about was an article I read that said something about windmills driving people who live near them, a bit insane.
The rains started when I was driving. It came down so hard that people had their hazard lights on and we crawled. I prayed a semi wouldn’t plow into us.
I sang. I signed up for Sirius when we were in the car. I put it on Broadway and my Chita Rivera came out. I don’t know why everyone says they feel sorry for Nick.
Clouds are my theatre. I love clouds. Do you look at clouds? They are sometimes skyscrapers … piles upon piles of towering puffs that absorb light and create spectacles. I didn’t notice them much until we moved to the South.
I love it when nature is my theatre … my entertainment. As we drive along, I also think of such stupid things as, “I wonder how many trees there are in the world?”
The hills and the mountains are covered with them.
I think about the life of the critters among and beneath their leaves. Things that slither, growl, tweet, chirp, moo, whiney, and play possum.
And then, we get to the big city. Boy, I can sometime feel like a hick.
There was a time when I was very comfortable in a big city … for about 3 days. New York? Bring it on. Walking those streets and looking in windows and watching people, the likes I hadn’t seen anywhere else. Chicago, years ago, roaming the streets, feeling a part of the “big time.” We go to the theater and to dinner and live big … for 3 days.
In New York, we walked up and down the streets and into all of the textile shops and I’d buy fabric. It was my art. Like a kid with a baby blanket that they loved to nuzzle, I’d rub the fabric between my fingers and think about how it was made … designed, and where it came from.
One time, in Chicago with a friend, before I had decent luggage, I had my clothes in a Glad garbage bag. A Glad garbage bag! I looked divine walking through the lobby of our downtown hotel.
I have little shame.
We went to a play and then to a blues bar and closed it down. It was a great place, down some street that had a bit of a risky allure. The cabbie took us there. He said we’d like it.
It was great. People of all ages and colors, couples, singles. We all were there for the music. The headliner was a big black woman, a blues singer known for her brilliant blues singing and her mighty, long tongue, that she wiggled to great applause.
But this time, we weren’t young in the big city. I had good luggage but I was more of an observer, than a player. The young people are the players. They walk with authority, knowing, or at least appearing to know, where they are going. I sat in the lobby for a while on Saturday, watching people come in and out, most of them, with cell phones in their hands. I took photos of everyone sitting around me … nose in the cell phone.
What the hell are we all looking for in those cell phones? No eye contact. No pleasantries. I was an alien in a foreign land. I am not sure what I am looking for, either.
Saturday morning, I got up early and ventured out with my camera. I walked down to Navy Pier before most of the city was awake. It was the delivery men and I.
Slowly, I walked along E. Illinois, looking in windows and stopping every few feet to look up at the buildings. I couldn’t get over how someone built those … ironworkers. How did they build them in such small spaces? How did they make them straight? Man’s marvels.
I watched pigeons and imitated their necks bopping out as they walked.
Good grapefruit juice, I yearned for the energy I had when I was young.
I had walked too far and then I realized I had to walk back to the hotel. Egad. I could take a cab, I thought, but no, I wouldn’t. I remembered what I have told people in my writing … one step at a time. One foot in front of the other.
And that is what I did.
PS … Does anyone else see a toll booth and immediately think of Sonny, in “The Godfather”? I always want to duck.