daily preciousness

Sunday, July 30, 2000

thoughts from a Chicago taxi

I took a trip not too long ago. I went to Chicago for a business conference. I enjoyed the city, but I was sad because my Chicago friend from there couldn't see me. He was out of town at the time. So here are a few brief thoughts that I jotted down while I was there.

The theme song for the trip was a Gershwin tune... "Looking everywhere, Haven’t found him yet. / He’s the big affair I cannot forget."(Someone to watch over me by George and Ira Gershwin.)

In this city

In this city

That is his own,

His distance is perceptible.

I feel his absence even over short distances.

From Wabash to State,

From Roosevelt to the fountain basin.

I miss him in newspaper stands, Russian tea rooms

And the clattering of trains above my head,

For these are the haunts, hoods and havens

of Gavin the Intense.


On taxis:

What is it

That coats

Taxi seats?

So vinylly smooth

And so amorphously soft?

Is it a teflon for trousers?

And why does it make me feel dirtier

Than the driver’s blackened fingernails?


On the O’Hare bathrooms:

I am the radar

In the airport bathroom lavatory faucet

That keeps Jeffrey

(Frenzied traveler)

from proper disinfection.

What germs inhabit

His fingertips? His lips?

His eyes? And will they hitchhike

A thousand miles to find a new home?


On air rings:

This is a great possibility.

This is not a guarantee.

This is intensity on a grand and personal scale.

This is what I saw at the aquarium. There was a pregnant beluga whale coasting around, quietly soaking up most of the attention. But…

This is me, witnessing curiously the male of the species. He blew air rings – like smoke rings, only underwater – and swam through them as they slowly expanded in front of him. It was a simple playful gesture that made him the most beautiful creature of my trip.

This is the feeling of ever expanding rings traveling through the water, through the glass, into my life.

This is me, swimming through them.

This is just being amazed at someone sometimes.

This is your brain.

This is your brain on potpies.

This is getting used to someone sweetly. Someone gently. Someone tenderly.

This is my version of air rings, ever expanding.

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