Celebrations of independence bleed into the city every year. Red, white, and blue conquer North Lake Shore Drive, the bam-bam-rat-a-tat-tat of fire spectacles mingle with laughter of retired Attorneys toasting to another year of fruitful investments in the Columbia Yacht Club, pleads from lost Vagabonds in Grant Park converge with vestigial fogs of cooked hot dogs, shrieks from happy Children accompany lonely red balloons into the sky. A sea of faces, idioms, insults, colors, and resentments all intermingle in the midst of an uncontaminated sky.
It is on days like these that I seek refuge in one of the guardian benches across Buckingham Fountain. He is always quietly humming on days like this, ten steps away from the water, tucked in between yesterday’s headlines and today’s ashes.
Perhaps it was his once shining green eyes that once stared into the world like tunnels that had captured me. Every moment had somehow been sucked into an endless abyss of interweaving grief and had somehow surfaced in his wrinkled, purple hands.
Small crevices continuously chiseled by the hands of time. Every day a new cut surfaced in his soiled palms, and every now and then, a nocturnal odyssey in search of fruitless hope claimed his dreams. He had somehow become the sole guardian of my solitude throughout all those years, and I of his.