14 May 2013
the delight of a different story
I sit in my car at the stoplight on Butterfield Road. The concrete is still that hurting, unnatural bright of a recently-poured road—white, almost, with a dash of a glinting metal thrown in.
It's only 10 in the morning but the sunlight blazes as if it were 2pm on a July day. Everything is too bright and next to me, there is a strip mall with a store where you're supposed to bring in all your gold and gets lots of cash.
Who has that much gold? Why is a whole store needed? How big of a melting pot do they have?
These are questions I will never know the answer to because I don't care to know the answer: even insatiable curiosity has its limits.
All around me and my car is suburbia, but as I wait for the light to change, I see a pocket of England up on a hill in the forest preserve next to Butterfield Road.
A lake with hills rising sharply from its banks.
Trees on top of the hill, just green in this spring, but off to the right, there are purple flowering trees.
Now, I have a weakness for trees that flower in spring and so my eye immediately jumps to this purple that looks like it doesn't belong, like it has been dropped from another world—a fairy world, perhaps.
Or England, I decided. Looking up at those flowering trees, I want to see a Jane Austen-esque character walking up the hill, book in hand and ready to lose herself for the afternoon.
I will admit: there is nothing particularly English about the scene, but I enjoy, if only for a few moments, the delight of telling myself a different story than one that starts out: I was at a stoplight next to a Cash for Gold store.
Posted by Kamiah Walker