Fons & Co. has congregated in Chicago for Christmas this year and I am presently nestled in my hotel room in slippers and a fluffy bathrobe. I am swaddled, you might say. Swaddled as the Christ child on Christmas morn! Alarums, excursions, etc., etc.
Speaking of excursions:
My family decided to meet at the mighty Field Museum today for the exhibit on Haitian Vodou. The museum did a great job with the exhibit and of course it was chilling, but not because “voodoo” is creepy in the way you think it is creepy; that’s all goofy Hollywood stuff. The art and pieces from the collection were frightening because the history of the Haitian people is steeped in slavery, torture, and bloody revolution. Compared to the reality of Haiti’s situation throughout most of history — including now — vodou is downright breezy. Anyway, if you’re in Chicago, go see it. Lots of cool skulls and hey, it’s the holidays.
I took the #146 bus on Michigan Avenue down to the museum. I began the trip reading on my Kindle, but then remembered my beloved city was outside the window, so I set my Kindle down and just gazed out the window at all the gorgeousness of Chicago on a winter’s day. The bus arrived at the Field and I hopped off. I took ten steps toward the Field and my heart sank: I had left my Kindle on the bus. I whirled around; the #146 was already turning the corner far away, headed to Soldier Field. I actually cried. I love my Kindle. I read so much. I loved that little Kindle. Oh, little Kindle in the blue case. Be good, little Kindle. Maybe someone had a Christmas wish for a Kindle to drop from the sky and I made it come true.
I dragged my feet all the way to the Field, up the big staircase, and plopped on a bench. My family members were all late. I sat on that bench for 45 minutes before anyone showed up, so I had time to go through all the emotions about my Kindle. I was extremely sad. Then I checked my purse again, for the ninth time, because surely I hadn’t left it on the bus. I called the CTA to let them know. I raged at myself. And then, with a few deep breaths, I reminded myself that it was only a thing. Just a thing like so many things, though if you have a Kindle you know it’s kind of a personal thing. Still, it is only a thing and things can be replaced.
And I felt better also because it could have been worse: I watched a young man introduce his new girlfriend to his dad and his grandmother. The dad and grandmother were on a bench about as long as I was. When the people they were waiting for finally showed up, it was clearly the man’s son and someone who had come with him.
“And you must be Krista,” the dad said, and gave her a hug. “This is my mom, Joyce.” The girl did the “Hey, let’s hug” thing with the dad and grandma. Losing my Kindle was bad, but I was deeply grateful that I was not introducing my new girlfriend to my dad and grandma. I was deeply glad I was not the new girlfriend meeting my boyfriend’s dad and grandma. I was glad I was not the grandma, in my mid-eighties, meeting the new girlfriend of my grandson, especially because they were forty-five minutes late. I was glad I was not Dad, too. Dad looked tired.
The new girlfriend was wearing spandex leggings, the super-shiny kind from American Apparel. Her shirt did not cover her derrier, so she had some serious butt going on. Skin-tight, painted on pants, man. I watched the group gather their things and set off for the ticket line and sure as I was sitting there moping about my lost library, that grandma looked at Krista’s tights and made a face like she had forgotten to put sugar in the lemonade.
Are we there, yet?