30 March 2006

0 hot is the new cold

spring arrived today and the electrical wiring in my building, evidently caught off-guard by this, went out around eight a.m., effectively halting the work day and sending me scurrying to the bookstore (not to buy- just to stand slack-jawed in the biography aisle for an unseemly long time). the weather here hasn't much differed in past weeks, so i mechanically donned two blah shirts, a sweater, coat, scarf, hat, and gloves. much to the amusement of the maintenance guy, julio, who was watering outside, i audibly gasped, "WHAT?!" upon the first step into the sunny heat. but because i hate turning around (really, nothing more obviously screams "i have no idea what i am doing/where i am going/who i am" than turning around), i soldiered on.

this, of course, creates a whole new set of problems. first of all, the trip had been spontaneous and therefore involved an unfortunate 4H shirt layered over a gray paint-splattered shirt. what pride i have revolves around not looking like a pollack canvas in public, so stripping was not an option. i also don't like carrying coats. but if you don't like turning around, eventually you will have to carry your coat. for generations, people have carried their coats. a hundred years ago this woman carried her coat...
and looks downright jolly to be doing so. i can't even fake that. it would make sense for carrying a coat to be a badge of honor for people who don't turn around- a testament to the fact that they, in fact, didn't turn around but braved the elements overdressed. but to me, it looks like incredibly poor planning. particularly when everyone in lincoln park was apparently in the know, wearing shorts, windpants (the official summer pant of chicago?), and flip flops. so i continued on in my coat and did an impersonation of a girl suffering from a rare genetic disease that leaves her 30 degrees cooler than everyone else (yes, i am this self-aware. let's be grown up and admit that we all are).

along with temperature shock, electrical outages and shortie shorts, the coming of spring seemed to bring the crazies pouring onto the streets. in the five blocks to the bookstore, i ran into another fauxolsen, a napoleon dynamite (naturally, windpanted), a really butch, red-faced man who sounded exactly like truman capote, a woman standing at the red light yelling "oy! oy!" for no apparent reason, and a couple fighting like ike and tina in the street. the climactic quote, yelled in his face as her inch long red nails dug into his forearm: "i can't love you like i used to!"

it was barely 10 a.m. i will now spend the rest of the day wondering, why couldn't tina just love him like she used to?

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