The snow piles in the street have turned hard and gray. A fresh dusting did nothing to mask the mess beneath. Empty spaces stand dotted with chairs, boxes, and other unwanted items laying claim to a small homestead on the street. 6:00pm, the phone rings. My husband is almost home. I glance out the window. The streetlights glint off the constant flurry of flakes.
Outside I walk briskly with the dog. Then I see it. A space, just slightly too small for a regular sized car. No object to stand guard, and it’s right in front of my car. We go out to the street to survey the situation. If I move my car back a foot, I think he can fit. So we stand and we wait.
Plato senses we are here to stay and sits, alert. He doesn’t mind the snow or cold, he is happy to be outside, able to survey passers by and feel the soft flakes fall on his eyelashes. I start to whistle. We must seem like an odd pair, standing in the street. Women have done stranger things for their men. Cars pass by. I feel a pang of guilt for each one of them. I wish I could save a space for them all, but this is city livin’, this is Chicago after a blizzard. Just as I think my toes are going to freeze and fall off I see his headlights turn down our street.
Valentine’s day is next week. Sometimes a box of candy cannot truly express the love we feel. Sometimes you just have to go stand in the street.
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