A journalist observes life in the far north.
I have a Chicago dog and a mushroom and olive pizza under my belt as I write this. Lucky is sleeping beside me in my dad’s guest bedroom. My brother Joe, who lives downstairs with his daughter, Andrea, is playing his guitar. I can hear it through the floor. My favorite is when he plays the Black Crowes.
I arrived in Milwaukee after 20 hours of traveling with my 8-month-old, stopping in three states, and not eating or peeing until the 18-hour mark when I finally asked a flight attendant to hold the baby for me because I couldn’t take it anymore. Or I should say my bladder couldn’t take it anymore. Many thanks to the U.S. Army soldier, the Asian businessman, the fat woman with the bright yellow purse and the two black men who showed kindness in helping me entertain my child.
It’s sunny and warm, not hot. My cell phone is on the fritz, but dad gave me a loaner. My brother told me a funny story. It happened a few nights ago. He met a girl at a meeting for recovering drug users, took her out to eat, bought her shoes and brought her home. He was trying to show her some kindness, he said. He let her sleep on the couch. There were plans to go to Great America, a nearby amusement park, where she had never been, the next day. When he woke up the next morning, she had stolen his box truck, designer sunglasses and the keys to his Corvette. I guess they found the box truck but not before she burned up all of the gas.
Later, dad and I sat at the kitchen table, sipping a bottle of some sort of Smirnoff apple drink and talking. He spoke about the tension between my brother and him. I blubbered about Monique.