here in my car

Today, I drove a friend to the bus station – my first time operating a vehicle in falling snow since the ’08 Convergence, and my first time navigating Chicago on wheels since we were apartment-shopping in August. I was driving an enormous Isuzu Trooper, with 4WD, and I still found it all but impossible to park, keep from skidding, etc. And unlike Indianapolis, these weather conditions are occurring in crowded city traffic.

North Avenue
(please don’t kill me, other drivers)
(please don’t kill me, other drivers)
(please don’t kill me, other drivers)

While I was trying to park in and around some growing snowdrifts, for the very first time since coming to this city, I found myself thinking, “It might have been a mistake to move to Chicago.”

The moment I set that car key down on my friend’s dining room table, I was, once again, happy to be here, and on foot, and I walked the long block between Damen and Western with positive exuberance at how cold I was, purposely stepping in the tallest snowbanks because I could.

When I got on the bus, the floor was slick with water, and I tried to put my transit card in the meter, but the driver told me to sit down so I wouldn’t fall. He did the same thing for everyone. When the weather is like this, people have to help each other out, or else, you know, be alone, cold, and grumpy, or fall down on the floor of the slippery bus… Maybe that’s part of why everyone is so nice here. The weather made them do it.

The snowbirds flee, the city becomes less populated, and those who stick it out either get really whiny or else form a sort of brotherhood. We’re all in this together, right? I think that’s what it’s going to be like for, as people keep reminding me, “the next FOUR MONTHS.”