I had the great honor of speaking with Gauraa Shekhar about Here’s Waldo, growing up poor, trauma & recovery, writing & home. Thank you so much, Gauraa, for the wonderful interview, and thanks, Maudlin House, for sharing my story of a poor kid from DP. This is a dream for me.
We’ve got locust plagues
in the form of summertime cicadas that
sap the will to live with their cries before
attaching themselves to shirt backs,
the car seats of those foolish enough to crack
the windows of their AC-less beaters.
Yearly deluges from the Des Plaines River,
to the point where canoe is viable transport.
Wailing and gnashing of teeth
in the unincorporated part of town (where I’m from),
where the primary forms of entertainment are drug use
and drag racing on roads that are more pothole than street.
The city’s claims to fame include being the site
of the Flight 191 crash back in ’79
(still the deadliest aviation accident to occur on U.S. soil);
the hunting grounds of killer clown John Wayne Gacy;
and the hometown of the world’s first Mickey D’s.
Yet with all of that said, here I am anyway.
The prodigal son returned.