I spent the night at Dr. Cohen’s house, in the bed he used to share with his wife. I expected the top of his dresser to be full of framed photos of her. There are a couple, but mostly it’s photos of family. There are the the predictable ones of two good-looking kids at various ages—as toddlers, as high-schoolers, at college graduations and weddings—and one less-predictable one of a dwarf-like gnome whom I assume must also be his offspring. On the wall in the hallway are photos from family ski trips, vacations to Greek islands, and one photo that looks like Patagonia.
His bed is a full-sized one, not even a queen. He and his wife must have liked one another a lot to share such a small bed. I imagine them lying down at night, sleeping calmly with the sound of Lake Michigan waves in the background, their minds filled with the trivial thoughts that could occupy a person back then in that more innocent time.
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.