Today I drive to Iowa City with Noah, his brother moving in my belly. As we drive off exit 244, Dubuque Street, I notice trees filled with bright purple flowers. Not lilacs. Not flowers I recognize. This bothers me. Were these trees here all along? Did they line the road like this before? In 2000? In 1998? In 1995, the spring after I met you?
The mind is strange. These flowers, these trees teeming with lavender flowers would have been something I would remember of this place? Wouldn’t I? And then it’s the decent down the hill to the familiar: Mayflower, the frat houses, the river where I would ride my mountain bike and you would watch from the IMU bar when drinking was still allowed on campus. Your apartment…was it on Davenport? How everything here seems so small now.
The old apartment on Iowa is still in tact except now it’s above a Thai restaurant instead of that awful hair salon where I used to fake bake my freshman year. It wasn’t your apartment then. And that night at Mickeys — did we sit in a booth or a table in the back of the bar under the ceiling made of stained-glass windows? Did we even notice those windows? Did I notice your blue eyes against all that green?