Sometimes tourists will do it, they’ll just come right out and ask. They’ll ask through frozen fingers and lumberjack hats. They’ll ask through sweat bandanas and white cotton shirts.
My brother in San Francisco asked it every day last week:
“Are you okay?”
“Why don’t you move here?”
“Why do you live there?”
It’s such a good question and one that can’t be answered until you’ve been here on a 75 degree day with the blue sun sparkling on the blue water sparkling on the Trump Tower. Diamonds.
That’s not enough though and doesn’t so much answer the question.
Lemme ‘splain: It’s Saturday. It’s been nine days of really extreme heat. Keep in mind, what matters here is not the actual temperature, but instead, what it “feels like.” This is true in winter too – lake effect. We love it, gives us double to talk about.
But see, the heat? It broke today and the sun is again a friendly orb instead of the dangerous Eye of Sauron boring into your skull. The heat was killer. It saps energy and replaces it with hot, wet towels on your face. It’s not pleasant.
So when my brother asked me why I live here, I said, “it makes me stronger.” He didn’t quite get that, quality of life and some such. It does though, it’s like what they say at Burningman. If you’ve made it there, if you’ve made it all the way to Playa if you’re there – you’re beautiful. You’re supposed to be there.
That’s what it’s like here, it makes us all stronger as a city. We all know what we’re going through and sometimes, little smiles and nods of understanding flit between us. We know how May washes away February in an instant. We know the lake will eventually furnish a breeze that makes it all bearable – better than bearable. Relief will arrive and for now we’re willing to put up with Chicago’s fits and fiddles while we wait. And maybe we’re just a little proud that we made it through and that is why 80 degrees never felt so fucking good.
And here’s this thought, on my Disaster! Tour I explain to people about Chicago, weather-wise. Sure, it’s really hot and it’s really cold, but that’s all it is. We don’t have earthquakes, tornadoes (the city proper), monsoons, hurricanes – we’re actually really stable. In fact, every disaster on the Disaster! Tour is a disaster of human folly, a disaster of bad decision-making. So see? There’s that right?
We like to be thrown for a loop every once in awhile. We like to be battered a little bit because the relief is so sweet when it comes. Chicago will deliver eventually and when she does, one day in Chicago is as sweet as a whole California summer.
Shine on pretty one, don’t listen to ‘em. We know what’s up.