Originally Posted August 18, 2004
At the end of a dark and inky corridor of the historic Palmer House Hilton in Chicago I sat on my bed and listened to the moaning of a ghostly specter call. As I crept a little further under the covers and hit the TV mute button the voice grew stronger. Slowly the bed began to shake and the haunted moaning became cries of anguish and horror. Before I could get to the recorder and document the presence of the paranormal, her cries sounded less like anguish and more like ecstasy, especially when she called his name. "Oh, Todd! Yeah Todd! Oh my.." The rattling bed was more rhythmic then exorcism. There are many such haunted experiences while on the road, more in Las Vegas, in Chicago, or on Disney property then other holiday spots.
For me Chicago has been full of ghosts since the mid 90's. There are still corners that have the chilling memories of a love lost or a friend forgotten. The wrong phrase or idiotic remark goes right to my long term memory to torment me until I become senile. You know how "they" say that your short term memory is always getting shorter and your long term memory keeps getting longer – so you still have your long term memory when you get old. But by that point, everything is long term memory; nothing is short term except that last time you took your pills.
At my grandparents fifty year anniversary, ten years ago, my grandfather explained that long term relationships are based on a sense of responsibility to one another. When you are young it is the duty to make ends meet, be a provider. In the midst of mid-life it's your job to accept and adapt to a mature partner who has new needs and desires. But near the end you keep loved ones around to remind you to take pills and call the ambulance in case you slip in the shower.
In the practical sense of life it is more important to find someone who thinks the same way that you do and sees life from the angle. "Love American Style", a television show in the 70's which was supper sappy, involved a guest appearance by actors every week, and always had a plot involving a couple. This swirling, chance encounter, bright lights, witty dialogue, instant connection, corny, and sweet show is how I think love should be.
During the time I am on the road things are exciting. I meet several hundred people each week, see new sights; watch a world in motion that revolves around the few quite steps I can take between the airport shuttle and my room. Love bangs on my wall at night, not a gentle knock asking to be let in, but a pounding on the furniture that – well might break your own at home so you want to go somewhere else to do it. People run to make flights or sit and dream of distant days gone by and loved ones past while waiting for a cab. It is a different world then the one my grandparents loved in. It's my world, full of ghosts and goddesses that might just see the world "American Style."