Vote Blue 2020

Vote Blue 2020

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Silence is Okay Too

Yesterday was one of those gloriously beautiful days in Chicago (they are rare), blue sky, abundant sunshine, temps in the eighties. Kind of set the tone for the day. The Lovely Carla and I rented a car and went to visit our moms. We made the trek out to the western suburbs where we both grew up. It's a strange trip, kind of like travelling to your past, but everything is slightly off. We're different, and places we remember are different too. I mean alot of the buidlings and trees are still in place, but even the things that haven't changed, have well, changed. We're older, the world is older too.

I visited with my mom, we talked about the weather, her emerging garden, the Chicago Bulls and well, again, the weather. There's so much we don't talk about, the silences are a big part of the trip. It's okay, we can sit in the backyard, watch the birds and squirrels flitting and leaping about, and just sit there like it's the best thing in the world to do.

I went for a bike ride. I pulled my father's old bike out of the garage, pumped up the tires, it's been sitting in there all winter, and took it for a spin. This bike, an old Schwinn Sprint, I mean it's an old clunker of a bike, it's heavy, red, rusting, it's kind of dorky, from another era, means a lot to me. I like to take it for a ride, to take it to the places my father used to take it. It was the bike he was riding when he took his last ride.

So, I'm riding down the path, pumping the pedals, clasping the handlebars. I'm thinking how I have followed my father in many things, and how I've diverged too. His life and my life so similiar and so different. I rode for a few miles, looking for a favorite bench that my father used to ride to, to sit in the sun and watch the world go by. I went to the place, but the bench was no longer there. I mean, it was there, in some way, it's there now, but there was no bench to sit on, just an empty stretch of land that kind of filled in with grass, it looked like there never was a bench in that spot. It was emptier than empty. It's only an image in my head. I used to sit here too. My father and I, talking about something, or nothing, I mean, we loved to talk, but sometimes even the silence was fine with us.

And sometimes the silence is all you are left with...

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