Lost Little Toledoan
Halfway down the block, an elderly couple paused in their walk so the woman could fix the man's shirt, giving a playful shake of the head as if to say "even after all these years ..." My attention was drawn next to a park bench across the street, where a boyfriend playfully tickled his blonde girlfriend before tucking his arm around her and letting out an unmistakable sigh of contentment. That sigh was almost immediately followed by a sigh of impatience, as if to say, "Come on, guys, you're not getting married for awhile," from a young girl standing behind the couple as she pulled her two older sisters away from a wedding dress display.
Missing my own pets back in Toledo, I felt a jolt of excitement to see people walking their dogs. I watched in amusement as a young woman fought with her tiny white dog; the harder the woman tugged on the leash, the more determined the dog seemed not to move. "You're so spoiled," the woman said with a half-laugh as she bent down and scooped up the tiny animal.
I stayed for hours, simply watching the people pass, listening to pieces of their conversations. I had finally found a place where I could both embrace my new city and be reminded of home. Here I was no longer just a Toledoan or just an Ann Arborite. On Main Street, I could be both.
[Originally published in April, 2013.]