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Chicago: Wandering the streets
Posted by Sylvan Sylph, Aug 24, 2008. 1609 views. ID = 1635


Posted by Sylvan Sylph, Aug 24, 2008. 1609 views. ID = 1635
This post was written in 10 minutes.
It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago-she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time. - Mark Twain

Chicago is a city of contradictions, of private visions haphazardly overlaid and linked together. If the city was unhappy with itself yesterday-and invariably it was-it will reinvent itself today. -Pat Colander

Chicago is a city I can never quite figure out, but I do enjoy occasionally finding myself going back to try.
This post has been awarded 16 stars by 4 readers.
This post is Part 2 of a writing series titled Cities.

Your streets feel empty. Your buildings tower above me, but they feel lifeless, somehow distant edifices lacking life to inhabit their blankly reflecting windows. People walk the streets, but they are shadows. All is muffled and far off. I don’t understand you. You are unlike any I have met before. You lack the frantic pace of others, the maddening dash and hurried impatience that is familiar to me. I wonder at you, uncomfortable with this strangeness. Could I love you like I have loved no other? I have been fascinated, enthralled, disgusted, welcomed, and repulsed by many before you. Yet you leave me puzzled.

I feel neither welcome nor forbidden. You are indifferent. Your cold wind sometimes leaves me shaking, but it is just your nature. The sun shines brightly on your streets; few shadows block its rays. It warms me, just as your cold has chilled me through.

You do not draw me in the way others have drawn me before, with curiosity beckoning from afar. Our meeting was a chance occasion, drawn together by acquaintances and friends, once, twice, three times. I still find you an enigma, sometimes warm and open, sometimes bitterly cold and distant, sometimes both at once.

You have a strange effect on me. I walk your streets in silence. Taking small comfort in the closeness of my friends. I wonder what this one makes of my reticence. He is not accustomed to my poverty of speech, but I have little to say so we walk in silence. With him this is ok, just as it is with you; and I am thankful for it.

Copyright 2008 Sylvan Sylph. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 16 stars by 4 readers.
This post is Part 2 of a writing series titled Cities. The next part of this series can be found here: Familiar Stranger.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version

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