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“DreamHouse”

March 28, 2016

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book. Enjoy!

———————

It was my fourth drive around the poorly lit neighborhood, and I was baffled. This was where elite world thinkers were meeting, in an old residential section on the north side of Chicago? All I could see were aged homes, brick-clad apartments, and townhouses. Address numbers were practically invisible in the autumn darkness, and I was coming up – once again – to what was supposed to be the location for a “Global Peoples Assembly.”

I had to be lost.

The date was November 7, 1997, and when it came to big cities I possessed a country-boy naivety. To someone who had grown up on a grain farm in the Canadian prairies, Chicago felt like another planet, and earlier that evening my inexperience shone through.

Needing to book a room for the night, I found, a dozen or so blocks from my meeting destination, a 1950ish looking motel. A bed is a bed, right?

“How many hours do you want?” asked the elderly female receptionist, barely looking up from the boredom of her newspaper. This should have been my first clue.

“All night,” I answered, passing the money for the posted rate of a single-bed. Scowling at the cash in her hands, the lady piped-up: “Well, how many are going to be using the room?”

Dumbstruck, I stumbled out an apologetic, “Just me.”

“Oh…” with a little smile, her eyes came up to meet mine. “You want it for sleeping!” Later, I discovered that “sleeping” was not a priority in my chosen establishment.

Dropping off my luggage in a small, grimy room, I left to find the Global Assembly. After driving in circles for twenty minutes, I parked my car and nervously walked up the steps of an empty looking brick building – the only one that seemed plausible in relationship to the directions on my map – and there, in the shadows of the door awning, I found the address number and a taped-up piece of paper with simple type.

Walking in, I was welcomed to “DreamHouse.”

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