Chicago, you are the saddest place I know.
I can scarcely think of you without my heart seizing in my chest.
I don’t like thinking about Lake Shore Drive, where I rode my motorcycle in the dead of a dry winter to meet with clients in Andersonville.
I don’t like thinking about Andersonville.
Or any of the other neighborhoods north of Wrigleyville. Or any of the neighborhoods south of Wrigleyville either, for that matter.
I don’t like thinking about River North – the building that sits between Orleans and Ohio, where we lived my first six months in the city; or Orleans and Ohio, the latter of which I would look for from the taxi after I flew back into town every Thursday, because it was once my favorite view of the city.
I don’t like thinking about Gold Coast, where the kid lived with us for a year, and where we lived when he went to jail. Where we lived when you bailed him out against my wishes, and so effectively bailed on me.
I don’t like thinking about Lincoln Park, where I left you. I don’t like thinking about the park itself, with all those baby goslings when we first moved there. I don’t like thinking about the Starbucks where we’d tie the dog up outside. I don’t like thinking about the woven rug in our living room that we would have to replace each time he periodically got sick on it.
I definitely don’t like thinking about the Lincoln Park high rise where I lived after that, with it’s north-facing balcony of absolute destitute and its living room where living souls went to die.
Or the high rise after that one, that was too small for my business endeavors.
Or the one after that, either, where all of the emotional warfare finally came to a head.
I don’t like thinking about the Chicago skyline viewed from the bridges and river; same one I once looked up at and thought about my career; that time I believed you when you said that Chicago was the greatest city in the US, and why.
All those times I suppressed my own feelings; all the times I felt otherwise but figured it had to be me. All the times I made it work, pretended – along with everyone else – that Chicago was as good as New York and not populated from midwest puppies who would move out to the burbs once they found their spouse.