In the late summer and early fall, there is a patch of Milwaukee Avenue along a row of bars that smells even at 4am like grilling meats and burning firewood. I have many good memories on this stretch as well as many heartbreaking ones. I have run up and down this patch with old friends and new friends and lovers and fantasies. I have brawled and shrugged off. I have kissed and slugged and gone along arm-in-arm-in-arm. I have waited bored and alone. Smoked countless cigarettes. Let my bike coast underneath the stars just before they were tamped out by the dawn. And every time I walk around that patch, I experience all of those memories again, as well as all of my love for all of the people that I’ve loved there. So I apologize sometimes if I seem a little off, as if you are trying to speak to me from across some great distance. I assure you, even though it may seem as if I am detached or not present, I am feeling it all quite keenly.
From Across Some Great Distance