too. many. choices.


skipping september

60 days ago — the last time I bothered to blog — it was August 20. Sunny, high of 95. A regular Friday.

I go to work, eat lunch, drive home, pack a suitcase. Put the suitcase in Ryan's 4Runner and we head north to Chi City, listening to Kanye's Graduation album on repeat (Chi City, Chi City, do you think about me now and then, do you think about me now and then, cuz I'm coming home again.)

"I was thinking we could walk around downtown when we get there and test out the new camera," he says.

There's a superfine mist blowing through Chicago, the kind that keeps vegetables alive at the grocery store. The sky is dusty mahogany and starless. We click our way through the city like true tourists, stopping to take too many pictures and kissing on street corners.

Down Michigan Ave and through Grant Park until we arrive here, at Buckingham Fountain. The skyline is unreal and we soak it in. The park is filled with spectators and loud parade music, and I'm exceedingly upset by a pack of preteen boys who are chasing down a scared little rabbit. We start back toward the hotel.

I'm still worrying about the "poor bunny" and Ryan keeps trying to change the subject. He's recounting minute details of a long walk we took on a rainy night years ago, asking 'remember this?' and 'remember that?' until I blurt out, "You never remember our dates, why do you remember so much about that night?"

"Because that's when I knew I loved you."

Even though I'd asked for details plenty of times, he's never told me this before — the first time he knew he loved me. Why is he telling me now? I'm wondering, and the pieces come together like a Jenga game in reverse. He's carrying a backpack. He's wearing cargo shorts. That's a lot of storage space. He seems nervous. He's never nervous. He's making me nervous.

The sign in front of Millennium Park says 'closed' but we go in anyway. He sets the camera up to take a picture of us on the park bench. He's fiddling with it, and fiddling and fiddling.

"Why don't you just have someone else take our picture?" I ask.
People stream past, a few stragglers like us in the park after hours. And then there were two. The park is empty. My heart is pounding. He hits the camera button and walks toward the bench where I'm sitting. Kneels in front of it. And before he can say anything, at that supposed pinnacle of one's romantic life, what do I say?

"You are not doing this right now!"
"Yes, I am." He says. And he says much more, words that I will always remember and rarely share.

We're wrapped up and talking and I'm on the verge of tears, and don't even notice the security guard until he shouts, "The park is CLOSED. Ya gotta get out."

So we relocate. We drink a glass of champagne at an overpriced bar. We stare at my hand and hold each others. We can't stop smiling and our faces ache, in a good way. A very good way.