Letters from Chicago

Letters I wrote from Chicago, then forgot to mail, so I hid in our mailbox when I got home.

Letter 1

Adrienne & Reese,

I am sitting here in an enormous park overlooking the lake and downtown Chicago. I can see the Sears Tower, and more impressively, a building that looks to be the headquarters of Ebony and Jet magazines!

I am resting my aching feet, fresh from a hike to the Natural History Museum where I hoped to buy some trinket to show Reese I was thinking of him. From there the plan was to go to the Art Institute and see if I couldn’t find something tiny for you.

Instead, I am sitting here listening to boats, and oddly enough, a mariachi band in the distance, while a cold wind blows in off the lake and numbs the right side of my face and the left side is burnt by the sun.

The weather is almost beautiful, but I completely wish you were here. I don’t have much desire to take pictures (and you know how I love to play artist) or to see museums. Life is just so much more fun with you guys.

Last night I walked up and down Michigan Ave-, “the Magnificent Mile”, and looked at shops and people. That is where I took the rather boring pictures of what was a beautiful fountain before I got my hands/camera on it. Really though, I just kept seeing little families walking together and wishing I had mine with me.

Nothing makes me happier than you guys. Without you the wind is colder, the sun hotter, and the 3rd largest city in the US a boring place.

I love you,
Josh/Daddy (<- why bother, Reese will just call me Josh anyway.)

Letter 2

Muchachitos Malvados de la Isla del Mal,

I now write to you from a train on my way to the airport. Please excuse my handwriting, it is normally the envy of the neighborhood. the train is bouncing like crazy. That is also why my spelling is so poor.

I wandered the city for a few hours, just people-watching and stopping to look at anything interesting. By this scientific tourism process I found the Museum of Contemporary Photography—maybe I am a photographer. The show was disappointing. This might have been partly caused by the cloud that has been following me around in your absence. I also think the fact that the photographer was [large sideways line here] (THIS TRAIN MAY CRASH!) a ham-fisted hack may have contributed to my disappointment.

My patented tourism method also led me to one of the hot-dog stands that had been recommended. It was closed. This caused me to swear in Spanish (it doesn’t count!) for two minutes w/o taking a breath. I passed 4 or 5 more hot dog places and other restaurants that were also closed. the entire town had conspired against me, no doubt led by the McDonald’s corporation whose “restaurants” (GOING TO CRASH!)[squigly line labeled “Look reese, a train!”] were all open.

I thwarted their conspiracy by just not eating at all. If I am very lucky I will have the privilege of paying $29.95 for a hot dog in the airport.

Here is something nice about you. You will be more upset for me if I don’t get a hot dog than I will be for myself.

[back of page]

The lady next to me [more wavy lines and a small drawing of a train driving off the tracks, labeled “my train driving right off the tracks”] has such a saggy face that I want to pinch her leg HARD just to see if she can even make a surprised face. I suspect she will just continue to look like a comatose charpei.

I can’t wait to see you at the airport,

4 responses for Letters from Chicago

  1. Adrienne says:

    I don’t think anyone has commented. I think it’s because they are so stunned at what a fantastic letter-writer you are. Your letters are beautiful. They are worded well; I can tell you put some thought into your word choices but not so much that it killed the spirit of what you wanted to say. I think that’s what I’m doing right here. Too much thought. What it boils down to is, write me some more letters because these two not only made me laugh, but I almost cried too. You know what an accomplishment that is.

  2. Joe says:

    I will comment: I was in Chicago 2 weeks ago. I love the cab drivers. During my 2 days there while riding in Taxis, we almost hit 5 people (one of them a baby in a stroller – car screeched to a stop just a few feet shy), acutally hit one, and had a 1 1/2 hour seminar on the Islamic religion covering from BC up to 2008 AD imparted by our cab driver. It is a beautiful city though.

  3. jenny says:

    My husband graduated in Middle Eastern Studies. If you really enjoyed that 1 1/2 hour seminar on Islam, you could come over for popcorn and Kool-Aid some evening and we could fill in any empty spots he may have missed.

    FYI: The cabs in Cairo don’t have seatbelts. Don’t go there if you’re real safety-conscious.

  4. john says:

    I’m sorry to tell you this but Joe and I have patented that method of tourism long ago – you must now pay us royalties, possibly via a bbq next weekend.