Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I am having an affair

I love Chicago. Of course I do.

I had met her only on social occasions before 1994, when I moved within her borders and we began wooing one another. I moved to Colorado but couldn't stay away. I loved her energy, her restaurants. Her theater critics were almost always kind to me, her bars and clubs receptive of my band.

I suppose we got married in 1999. We had a trial separation in 2002, but I thought of her constantly and in 2004 returned to her arms for good.

But now I am seeing someone else on the side. I suppose this happens sometimes in marriages. You lose sight of what was so special about your partner in the first place, and then meet an exotic stranger who makes you feel vital again. And perhaps you stray.

London is a great mistress. Sure, she's older, but she has character and experience. She's a bit more even-tempered, and she doesn't care about baseball. She calls soccer "football," and has cute little names for all sorts of things. I try not to correct her. She has a fantastic passion for the arts. While her trains are much the same as Chicago's, her buses run frequently and on time. She is full of pleasant surprises.

I have whispered to her that I might leave my wife for a life with her. And I have meant it.

Soon enough, though, I shall return home. She'll take me to the airport and we'll have our goodbye. And Chicago will welcome me back. She always has.

And when I get home, I shall wander the streets, as I have done here. I shall see if I can find the things that made me fall in love in the first place.

If I can't, I'm going to end up moving to London, to see how long it will take before I start to take her for granted.

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