Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chicago revisited...and a flash fiction meme

Commenting on my Chicago visit, Matt B had this to say: "Cindy: How can you go to Chicago and not eat Giordanno's pizza? With all respect to Dianne,[another commenter] it's much better than the stuff at Gino's East. And, surely you didn't leave without stopping for some Garrett's popcorn - did you??"

Funny you should ask, Matt! We passed Giordano's during out trip, and one of my sons said, "I wonder if this Giordano's is different or better than the one we have in Rockford?"

Because we do have a Giordano's in Rockford. I've eaten there, and it's quite good. However, I stick by hometown Italian eatery Giuseppe's (especially the thick crust variety) as being the very best pizza I have EVER eaten. (I've never had Gino's, but I have had Lou Malnati's...also quite good.)

As to Garrett's...well, it had a long line coming out the door and well out onto the sidewalk, as is so often the case.

However, when I visited Chicago last April with my mom, sisters and daughter, we made a point of going to Garrett's. It's special to me, because Garrett is my maiden name, and it was established in 1949...the same year my parents got married. My mom had never been to Garrett's and wanted to make sure she got a souvenir tin, which she did. And yes, the popcorn is nothing short of heavenly!

(By the way, Dianne, I'm sure the context in which you were visiting Chicago had much to do with your lack of love for the city.)

Dee's Flash Fiction Meme

Dee has tagged me with a flash fiction meme...flash fiction being "a story that can be told in a flash."

As you can see from my story, I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm not tagging anyone, but if you choose to take part on your own blog, please let me know and I'll link to it!

The Train, by Cindy Swanson

The fog hangs thick and dreary as he trudges up the stairs, wearing his loneliness like a heavy and ill-fitting coat. The people waiting on the el train platform are silent, dark sentinels standing carefully apart; they appear to him almost like featureless, wavering blobs.

But she is there again, and she alone is bathed in color and light, like the little girl in the red dress in the black-and-white Spielberg film. Breathing in her gentle perfume, taking in her glowing skin and cloud of auburn hair and sparkling eyes, the energy that radiates from her, he gathers strength to face another day.

It is all he has to look forward to, this fleeting daily moment of brightness and beauty. The train exhales to a stop; he gets on and sits down, hopeless and resigned.

And suddenly she is sitting beside him. She turns to him and smiles, and the thick ice around his heart begins to thaw. It is the strangest sensation. "My name is Jillian," she says. "I see you here every morning, and I thought it was about time we met."

It takes a moment to find his voice. "I'm Brian."

The city is still fogbound, the workday still yawns before him, the people on the train still seem colorless and drab. Nothing has changed, yet everything has.

The train speeds off into the future.


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