Where the Streets Have No Name

In deep reverence and gratitude to Paul Hewson, David Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. 

I peek out my bedroom window and see the headlights in my driveway. There is no hesitation as I walk down the hall, glance over my shoulder, and announce: “Case is here. Be back later.”

Casey’s car feels like freedom. She already has all four windows down on the Chevette. On these humid summer nights, traveling down the road too fast, we feel blown by the wind. With U2 blaring, we don’t need to talk, don’t really want to. The music is enough to communicate exactly what we’re feeling.

“Streets” has a slow build. It starts out sounding like a church organ then builds to a congregation of guitar chords, rejoicing. It feels like God is in the car with us, proclaiming that it’s okay to forget ourselves, even if only for a little while.

Casey keeps time with her gear shift, the car lurching with each drumbeat as she navigates our town’s streets while heading for the highway. It’s all I can do not to jump out of my seat as we accelerate, the big city lights twinkling in the distance. We cruise on I-55, ride the curve, then suddenly our world opens up and my heart breaks slightly at the beauty of the Chicago skyline. The music thrums along, and I’m out of that space where I feel small. The city tears down my walls and heals my soul.

Even though it’s nighttime, the lights shine so brightly it feels like sunlight on my face.

Now we’re on Lake Shore Drive going past Soldier Field, the museums, the Wrigley building, Hancock, the Sears Tower. They all shine like liberty.

We don’t have anywhere to go. We just want to drive, leave our small town, small lives, and big fears behind us. It feels like starting over, like we’re on the edge of something great and powerful and limitless. We have in our hands a blank map, the streets ready to be named, the land ready to be discovered and tamed.

On these nights I always wonder, what would happen if we just keep on driving?

Blood Can Be Pretty

I ran from my childhood
Right into your arms
The All-American boy
With sandy blond hair,
A chalk white smile –
Grinning from ear to ear
While behind your back, fingers crossed
You are make-believe, my feet not grounded

In the land of corn and silos
You were Saint Isidore
And by your illusions I did conceive –
Inside me grew a baby of familiarity;
I had broken free from the devil I knew,
Only to be captured by a slippery serpent
Your heart is black, my heart was dust

But blood can be pretty, crimson and viscous
As your school-boy grin spewed vomit and piss
Claiming your dominion you made me feel less –
Not quite a woman, but an unintelligible bitch
But a girl like me knows how to sow a seed
I used your Iowa embryo to grow a stalk for me
You are long gone, I am untethered