todays my moms birthday, shes 24

momhere she is with my niece, who is also 24. long story.

there was a time when id hardly ever go back to chicago to visit my mom. it was nothing personal. it was just that chicago and the suburbs where i grew up would also do damage to my sensitive poet sensibilities.

it was like going back in time and forward in time at the same time.

like having a niece and mom the same age.

all of your memories are in the distance past but time keeps on ticking and things improve and omg some things dont improve at all.

for example there is this strip mall on barrington road that used to house a Pizza Joint, a drug store, a hardware store, a little grocery store and a Dick’s Dogs hot dog hut. ever since the Sam’s Club and WalMart opened up a mile away all of those independent stores went out of business and Nothing ever replaced them.

it’s just this long empty building where i first ate pizza and read Mad Magazines. and ate hot dogs.

drug stores of olden times used to be places where you would just roam because every aisle had weird and unusual things that you never knew you needed but instantly HAD to have. Mad, Cracked, and Crazy were all magazines that i needed to have suddenly and my mom, bless her heart, would usually say, “at least you’re reading”. and buy them for me.

walmart doesnt have that sort of appeal, but they have the prices. and its sad what they do to little towns.

we passed that empty strip mall yesterday and my mom says the county is trying to buy it to fill it up with facilities that will help immigrants become legal citizens. they’ll teach them english, help them do their paper work, and maybe even teach them a skill. me, i would turn the place into a medical marijuana center including a food court that would return Dicks Dogs to its rightful place alongside some traditional taquerias, pizza, and soul food selections.

you know, things Walmart doesn’t have nor will ever have.

apparently medical weed is just starting to bloom in Illinois and what a better place to put a huge dispensary than in a strip mall that time forgot?

this afternoon i am going to take my mom to a ford dealership to have her test drive a CMax and a Ford Escape.

i may have to get an actual second job to pay for it (Uber clearly doesn’t want drivers making a livable wage), but it will be worth it because my mom is the best and i love her soooooo much which is why i come back here twice a year.

happy birthday mom – which would be the name of the strip mall if i had my way.