In June I went to Chicago for a pastry camp. On a free evening, I was lying on the top bunk in my hostel room, wrapped up in cheap white sheets, crying over a boy. We had fallen apart after a tumultuous three-month relationship and he was on summer break in Wisconsin and I was baking in the big city but croissant and nougatine felt so empty without him. Our relationship was at what felt like an impossible impasse, however, so I dried my eyes and ventured out into the night to buy a greasy Cuban sandwich for dinner.

Yesterday I went to Chicago again for the first time since pastry camp. The purpose of the trip was to find a wedding dress. He and I managed to work around that impasse late this summer and our love blossomed as the trees died. I did find a dress and it is beautiful; it makes me feel like Elizabeth Taylor and Arwen and a cupcake and a princess (the real kind) all in one.

Today I woke up thinking about Chicago: its intimate tunnel-like streets, its brick and metal and el-clack-clack-clack, its bawdy street performers and briefcase baby boomers and sweet lake air. And I thought about those white sheets and that white dress, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the way life has taken me along such an unexpected and beautiful route.


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