A couple of weeks ago, I staggered out of the tanning salon (before Florida! before the 10% tax!), all yawny and relaxed when I happened to glance up and see the signage on the side of the big, Morton-type building–“Bahama Mama Tanning Salon.” Yep, you can get a tropical tan right here in Illinois. I climbed in my car and crawled the three blocks to my house (still on Jefferson St.). Oh, this was after I travelled right past my old high school (on Jefferson St.) a couple of blocks further to my gym (right around the corner and next door to my grandma’s apartment). It was even worse a couple of years ago when I worked at the high school. I could literally spend my entire day travelling Jefferson. My world is so small.
My world is so big, I think, as I listen to my friends SH and J talk about their Canadian roots. I learn about upper New York (SP and JD) and good ole’ Cali (EB). I can travel in my head to Ohio (TW-F) and even a bit further into Appalachia (DDD). When I really want to escape, TW-F tells me all about the magic land of Michigan.
My world is so small, I think, as I shop uptown at Lindy’s, stopping to say hello to all my ex-students who work there, checking in with Jim to see if any new wine has caught his fancy. I hop on my bike and ride to my parents house. (I’ve been visiting there since I was born as it used to house my Grandma Dot and even at one time my beloved Grandpa Don.) It’s right next door to the house they used to live in that I bought. They moved back to their house on Knollcrest, currently occupied by my sister. (My cousin lives in the apartment attached to the house.) It’s approximately three blocks from Jefferson. I forgot to mention, one block up the street from my house is St. Pat’s grade school, where my aunt (Tante!) is principal and spends her days. JJ, pioneer, lives the furthest away. All the way out off of Nofsinger Road.
Wow, this is a big world, I think as I crack open a memoir by Ishmael Beah and walk the dusty roads of Sierra Leone. My recent Food and Wine brings me a delicious pasta dish perfect for a Sonoma-themed dinner. Running my fingers over my sculpted lamps, I think of KS’s first years in Japan. I pine for Portland, and revisit San Fransisco every day in my memories.