26 March 2012

IMG_0157Today 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?

In the hotel tonight, Noah called this his new home. For a day, I said. It was my home for almost six years and now I can’t remember what street you used to live on or if trees had purple flowers. My memory of this place and all the others fades as does my love for you and my love for my son, my sons, grows.

Noah swam in the pool above the bar that no longer exists but where we would get drunk on Thursdays, 16 years ago…17 years since I met you, 18 years since I said goodbye to Dan under the street lights, 19 years since I gave Dan that letter and he didn’t respond, 20 years since that first kiss. Twenty years is a long time. Long enough to fall in love, fall out of it, again and again and again. Long enough to have as close to perfect day with my son.

Noah in the per mall in downtown Iowa City. March, 26, 2012

Noah in the ped mall in downtown Iowa City. March 26, 2012

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