March 31, 2011

There is a neighborhood North of Chicago, tucked away. Hidden from the highway and from the bustle of the busy city.This village has tree lined streets, and old, old architecture. Her mother once loved a man from here, they were wed and had a child. He was a good man, and has a beautiful daughter, and a gorgeous granddaughter that he’ll never meet. As we drove, she called her mother and discussed the parallels between their lives. They both dated men from Chicago at the same time in their lives, they both loved the city. There was a house here that once belonged to her mother’s first love. It was on Lincoln street. Armed with coffee and diet coke, we had set out to find it. 

The day was crisp and blue, with a big yellow sun to light our way. We crawled through the tree lined streets at 25 miles an hour, our fingers intertwined. My catchers mitts engulfing her dainty little fingers, playing with the rings she wore. One an asymmetrical bowl, another a diamond shaped piece of white marble. She jumped at each old Victorian Mansion, cooing at the old architecture, commenting on how beautiful the weathered houses were. The big front yards and the sprawling back yards called to her. Eventually we rolled to a stop in front of the house. A place once occupied by a man who is no longer. David. We parked and tentatively walked across the street. It was a tall, two story brick house with a  sun porch on the side, and tall tall trees in the front yard. A piece of wood had grown into the side of the tree closest to the street. Proudly, it displayed the house numbers. She didn’t speak for a few moments, as she paced back  and forth on the sidewalk, silently taking in the house from her mother’s youth. She stepped back onto the driveway and pulled out her phone, snapping a series of pictures to send home. We stood and looked up in silence, holding hands in front of the storied old house.

We returned to the car, and spent the rest of the afternoon meandering through the streets of the little village. Picking out houses, naming them our own, imagining the cold hardwood floors in the winter and the summers soaked in the hot Chicago sun. Every few blocks, we’d stumble upon a freshly built mansion, booing the waste of good history and wondering of the beauty that once occupied that land. All the time our hands dancing over each other. She pressing her tiny palms into mine, or tracing rivers up my forearm, carving trails in the wisps of blonde hair, leaving paths where her fingers had once lain. The history that this place holds, will always be sacred to someone. As this day, and these series of moments that I was privy to, will be to me.

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