Friday, October 19, 2007

The Windy City

Well, I'm here. I'm officially covered in hair, bruises, scratches and slobber. Amy's lab Sophie devoured me as soon as I walked in the door. After swinging my luggage at her and shouting, "no" and "down" a bunch of times, I found the treats on the counter and life became more bearable.

Ah, Chicago.

Some things remain the same, even when we switch cities.

From the Airport, I took the El to the designated stop. It felt like I was back in Europe. I love public transit. When I emerged from the train, the grey skies and unfamiliar buildings were refreshing if daunting. There's something about joining with the ranks of humanity and bearing full force into a city. I think our politicians should ride public transportation. With one leg pressed against some over-sized man in sports paraphernalia, while the other guards your backpack under your seat, you've got one hand clutching your purse as the other peruses your iPod which is connected via headphones into one ear while the other ear waits for a call on your Bluetooth that your grandma bought you. Your eyes dart from the cute guy in worn, black jeans and a navy sports coat with a v-neck grey tee underneath to the suspicious men who man be plotting to steal your stuff. Which thief is giving his partner "the look?" The cute guy looks my age but his hands are dirty and his brow is furrowed. Is he having a bad day or is he homeless? Am I checking out a homeless guy? Blue-collar workers get on and off, all of color. The only white people are me, the hot guy, the sports guy, and the rich guy across the aisle, foolishly attempting a business call on the El. One young black girl sleeps with her head against the glass. She looks college age. I hope she doesn't miss her stop.

That's public transit. That's America. Politicians should be put in this position of being one of a million, of no consequence, getting on and off trains.

But right now Sophie's whining. Is she disappointed I'm not Amy? I toss her another treat and say the important words, "take it easy," so she doesn't bite off my hand.

Amy's apartment may be in the ghetto but it is beautiful and of course is decorated impeccably. Just Amy's style. Like blue walls, matching watercolors she painted herself, pictures of her family and friends on every mantle. There's one of me as a first grader. I'm dressed by my father the clothing store manager as if I stepped out of a GQ magazine and am a boy. I have on a blue button up shirt with a navy sweater over it. There is a yellow ribbon in my hair. Though I can't see them, I am sure I am wearing penny loafers on my feet, pennies and all. I look slightly caught off guard as if pictures aren't my thing, but are something I should make the most of. I look innocent but not child-like. Or perhaps child-like but not innocent. It's hard to pinpoint in my smile, which was always bigger and showing more teeth. Especially if I was laughing.

There's my mom and dad and grandma and grandpa, the sisters, both by blood and by nature. It's comforting and I feel like I'm at home.

While feeling like I'm in a foreign country all at the same time.

How did Amy end up in this cave of mystery, this den of unexplored territory? It's like fraggle rock only without all the colors.

I like it.

I like Chicago.


lynnette said...

this is a good post. :)

texasinafrica said...

I like Chicago, too.

And I like the El a "'el" of a lot better than the NYC subway. :)

jenA said...

I LOVE Chicago. Enjoy it for me!