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Raining in Naperville, May 2015

Carla Hagen

Gaby and I walk the sidewalks of this suburban city, once a small town surrounded by farms, now a bedroom community of Chicago, bristling with strip malls, Starbucks, McMansions and a gigantic Lifetime Fitness. And yet, something remains of the rural landscape: large stands of mature oaks and maples, creeks that feed the DuPage River with its walkway and bike paths, large fields of grass we cut across, barefoot, to feel its softness.

He has been here nearly a month, going once a day to the gleaming silver and glass Proton Center, where he gets experimental radiation to prevent his recurring brain tumor from growing back. Last night he took me on a three-hour walk, but got us lost. There’s no denying the effects of four surgeries, chemo and harsh radiation before Naperville. His usually sharp sense of place and directions is eroding. He still treasures good tunes in Spanish…

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