Sometimes Life Decisions Are Best Made With Strangers At Bus Stops

June 24, 2013 § 6 Comments

I’m standing at the corner of E. Randolph and Michigan Ave. in a part of Chicago known as the loop. I’m waiting for the bus. It’s January. If you’ve ever stood on a Chicago corner in the dead of Winter waiting for public transportation and decided to make a bold scream-cry declaration to absolutely no one in particular that, “YOU ARE MOVING TO CALIFORNIA BECAUSE YOU AREN’T ABOUT TO DIE OUT HERE AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE SOME FUCKING SENSE OF SELF PRESERVATION!” then you may have an idea of what I’m talking about.  Or if you’ve ever woken up in a bathtub full of ice missing your kidneys then you might also have an idea.

This particular Chicago day was the coldest they had had in a decade. It was -9 before factoring in the wind chill and with the wind chill it was -33. Which is fucking cold, people. It’s real fucking cold.

Seconds before I found myself on that corner I had burst through the turnstile doors and ran for my mother-lovin’ life to catch the bus and I’d reached the stop just in time to miss it. The busses came in 15-minute intervals. Another 15-minutes, I thought to myself. Oh.God.No. I stumbled back into the corner of the bus stop overhang and huddled down, moving slowly to conserve heat.

15 minutes isn’t long if you are waiting at the bar for a late dinner guest or if you are paying for an awkward public massage at one of those mall kiosks but when you are freezing your fucking ass off 15 minutes is a lifetime.  And the longer I waited the more the unapologetic wind that whipped off the lake to bitch slap me in the face felt less like the elements and more like a metaphor for my life.

A gentlemen sauntered up to the bus stop. He offered me a reassuring look of encouragement as if to say, ‘Don’t worry. It’ll all be ok…maybe.’ It was a welcome distraction. I returned his gesture with a nonchalant nod meaning, ‘Crazy weather we’re having but what can you do? Also, are we going to die out here sir?’ Only a few minutes had passed and I was already about to break.

Next a woman wearing a jacket made completely of luxurious dead animal fur joined us. Now I know killing animals for the sake of fashion is something that should be avoided but as I stared at this woman I noticed she looked slightly less cold than the rest of us. And I have to admit if a beautiful rare silver fox had suddenly appeared before me I might have slaughtered it for the sole purpose of warming my hands inside its dying carcass.

Somewhere in between my daydreams about murdering innocent woodland creatures and the bus arriving is where I made my scream-cry declaration to move back to California. Under normal circumstances my two fellow commuters would have most likely laughed politely and shifted away from the small psychopath who makes life decisions by yelling them to strangers but we had just endured the same cruel 15-minute fate which means we had bonded in a way that would typically have taken several months of forced awkward small talk. So my new friends were oddly reassuring and made an effort to make me feel as if I had correctly panicked.

And then the bus pulled up and just like that we were saved. Once aboard, it was clear I wasn’t going to die but it was also clear that I would be moving back back to Cali Cali.

Beautiful Cold Chicago. I Love You But You’re A Cold Hearted Bitch:

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Chicago Winter

Scooter Girl Of Your Dreams

January 18, 2013 § 6 Comments

I become overly attached to inanimate objects. Which doesn’t mean I dry hump blow-up dolls.* But it does mean that I love things that don’t love me back. I’ll get to the point – today I am saddened because I am selling my beloved scooter (that I rode approximately one time).

If you are fascinated by history then you will love this story. This is a story about how terrible things can happen to perfectly wonderful people. It all started four years ago when I was living in Chicago.

I decided I wanted a scooter more than anything else in the world. And that very same day I found myself at a scooter dealership purchasing a two-tone baby I named, Shirley.

One immediately curious thing you should note here is, I am a terrible driver but I thought since I’d look so god-darn cute riding one the situation would eventually remedy itself.

After the deal was finalized, the salesman gave me a very brieft tutorial on how to drive a scooter. I had never been on one before but he insisted it was a “no-brainer”. So my flipflop wearing ass hopped right on.

I hit the gas but the power and speed spooked me. So what did I do next? What any human would do. I screamed like a bitch and held on tighter.

If you know anything about scooters you’d know that the gas is located on the handlebar. And since its very counterintuitive to let go of something you are deathly afraid of falling off, I proceeded to hold on for dear life, which only caused me to go faster.

Suddenly a parked Mercedes came out of nowhere and I had no choice but to abandon ship. I flew off, sending my scooter skidding along the asphalt stopping only a few inches from the Merc.

In the aftermath, I gave a quick friendly wave to the child inside who had apparently been left, windows cracked, to wait for his parents and retrieved my flipflop from under the vehicle. Shirley on the other hand went straight to the shop.

A super sweet bonus to all this, was a rather large rug burn up my thigh.

Not long after, Shirley was back in action. Good as new. Only I was still in full wuss mode. But believing this was temporary I had my sweet baby Shirley shipped with me for the move to Cali.

Now four years later, its pretty clear I’m not going to be coming around anytime soon. So its time to say good-bye. Good-bye Shirley, remember that one time? Yeah, good times.

Perhaps I’m a dreamer but I had some romantic notion that one day I’d take Shirley out for a spin and die.

But I guess that’s just not my destiny.

If You Love Something Set It Free:

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*I can not believe you clicked on that link, pervert.

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