The Lost Boys Meet
The Lost Boys meet in Chicago because, well, there are just as many lost people here as anywhere else. They may have only been a few days away from Neverland and from Peter and Tink, but they have aged horrifically in those days. Their bodies rush to catch up with their true age, while their minds stay unblemished and simple like a child’s. This makes the Lost Boys stooped and hunched, and they walk with a pained expression.
They meet in the summer, in playgrounds, grassy abandoned lots, on backyard swing sets that don’t belong to them. At the fountains in Millennium Park, amid the blinding color at a parade, or wherever a ball smacks the pavement rhythmically. The Lost Boys look out of place and even suspicious, but they belong to these places, at least as much as anyone could.
The Lost Boys had dreams of finally growing up, fantasized about suits, a place of their own, and peace and calm and quiet. When they meet, each face breaks out in wrinkles from each broad smile. They are here, they are grown, they are triumphant. Still, the Lost Boys remain lost. For now they are retirement age and they live in nursing homes where they aren’t allowed out often and they don’t fit in. It is quiet, when no one tells them what to do.
Perhaps the Lost Boys also meet with the Huck Finns, Pippi Longstockings, and Holden Caulfields who will never leave the eternal youth we found them in. The world has yet to make a place for all those lost. So they come to Chicago.
Chicago is a grid and each square feels like itsown country, with different customs, different ways to communicate, different ways to keep outsiders out and insiders in. We are the lost boys and girls. We move frequently, change our minds constantly, and can’t choose between staying young and foolish, or growing old and bitter.
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