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His Hopeful Tales of What If

Nadya Johnson

Joined January 2009

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The Sitting on the Stairs Alone at 2 am with Cigarettes and Wine in the Dead of Winter, Mean Chicago-Blues

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2450 views, 19 faves (March 4, 2015)

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It hits you one night… the way the flu can do… festering awhile… there are nagging symptoms here and there… then suddenly, you’re down. Sick. Too many to ignore! You gave your heart out like a bingo ticket! Now…. the after-taste.

My interpretation of the poem by JaNae Boswell, Please.

Not sure if it’s harder at 17, when you tell yourself it’s never going to happen again — or, at 42 — when damn! You’ve done it AGAIN! Later on, if nothing else, you have some practice dealing with that after-taste.

Yeah – The ghost here is me. At 17. Pondering another trip from Chicago out to California…. #3 of 20? Who can count. Or maybe I was 22. That time, despite the usual talk of moving to the ‘burbs or maybe to the country where we’d do the cozy house and picket-frence routine, he dropped me in a greasy spoon ~ and went to a party in Milwaukee! Said he’d be “right back” and never was. I learned this because he paid a friend $20 not to tell me (he said, he had some kind of major accident and spent the night in a hospital) ~ but I ended up with the friend a year later, so of course he tattled. It would not have been as bad, had it not been 33 below the night I was stranded at the diner! And by then, I lived in California so was only visiting, so had no bona-fide Chicago Winter Coat.

The house was not in ruins, just the dreams.
And yet I kept on coming back!. Until the last time, back when we were 24. And by then, I had our son to think about. And after that he had to go and die. So there I was in California, he was in Chicago. D.O.A. Not much chance of making up again ~ the worst after taste of all.

This is probably what I’d have listened to… it was “our song” freshman year in high school, come to think of it. Romantic, or what? Well, it was cruisin’ music!

There’s a saying in Chicago… have to be from there, to really understand the blues. (I’m sure a lot of people in New Orleans would disagree.) Green Onions in this piece does refer to Chicago, though. That’s the real meaning of the word, which refers to a type of wild onion. It was used by Native Americans prior to the coming of the Europeans. Where the city stands today, there was only marsh (and apparently, a lot of wild onions).

I wasn’t really on the stairs, although we had some very similar. This is a collage. I began with an old photo (b&w) of me.

The stairway is from Stock in the Corridors at DeviantArt.com. Cigarette was there – wine bottle has been added! All elements are texturized and grunged in CS2.

Artwork Comments

  • Anna Shaw
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