Updated: Jan 13
I had met up with an old friend and we were walking through what was a once-affluent neighborhood in Chicago’s West Rogers Park near Lunt and California looking for a house that belonged to his father who had just passed away.
Meanwhile, he was talking on the phone with his half-brother who he was trying to convince to move into their father’s house with him despite the fact the brother was well to do and living out west.
As we walked through the decimated neighborhood, I was amazed by the number of shuttered and burned-out synagogues in what I imagined to have been a beautiful neighborhood at one time.
We finally came upon the house but continued to walk past it as my friend, noticing the house was beyond repair, was too ashamed to stop and survey the property. Disappointed he would never have a place of his own to live where he could re-kindle his relationship with his younger brother, I told him he could sell the land to a developer which could bring him millions then he could build the house of his dreams in a much better neighborhood. He agreed to turn around and go back to examine the property and as we were just about to arrive, I asked him if it was the house on the left or the right of the narrow drainage canal I had seen earlier and he said it was the one on the left.
Walking onto the property between the two houses—and now in the company of his brother and the younger man’s girlfriend—we noticed three or four horses cooling off in the drainage canal accompanied by their owners who were picnicking nearby.
Just then, one of the horses, a beautiful white mare, ran out of the water and started harassing the brother by head butting and kicking him for no apparent reason as the brother tried in vain to allude the horse’s unprovoked aggressions.
I called to the people who I assumed owned the horses who came running over to try and diffuse the situation. One of them, a woman, asked me if I would hold her dog, a small, black Doberman, while she helped her friends with the horse. I eventually tied the leash to the trunk of a sapling and walked around to the back of the house where everyone had gone in an attempt to corral the horse.
Finally, one of the men who I presumed was the horse’s owner, managed to get the mare away from my friend’s brother while I overheard the others saying they thought the horse became overcome with emotion because the brother may have been the horse's original owner when it was a foal many years before.
Then I woke up.