I arrived at the airport heavy laden
but was welcomed warmly. We freshened up and walked out into the afternoon, intent on seeing the city. There were breezes where I wouldn't expect them, squat
buildings brown and grey, shorter than I pictured they would be. Downtown
Sprawling shopping sections. Swarms of people, bare legged, bare shouldered, in shiny new leather and silk. Sidewalks smooth and even. Every corner stuffed to its edges with tables and little hostesses in black dresses, holding their slim datebooks like shields. I felt pulled into the running, bristled, as though we were running through the woods, feeling leaves cling to my arms.
The Navy Pier. Hearing old Beatles' songs in the speakers. People pulled this way and that by lovers, fathers, and children. The river that always stays green, he said, because they dye it green for St. Patrick's Day and it just stays that way. Bridges laced in lights. The strip of land so wide you could never touch your fingers together when you wrapped your arms around it. Windy kisses halfway up the stairs, halfway down escalators.
A club. He wanted to go dancing, and already I'd formed two perfect blisters on my biggest toes. Excalibur. They had an Oxygen Bar, but we opted for a quiet couch in the lounge, sipping our drinks, drinking the cool, watching snippets of 70's TV show intros on the big screen. They still have a place for the YMCA dance and about a hundred songs I listened to four years ago when I was in college and dancing to such silly music seemed liberating.
We muster nerve and get out there, where the people fold you in like tree rings, on all sides of warmth and light. There are no steps, we have no rhythm, but we have one another to get us through each song. And it was enough.