I was thrilled.
I had been hand chosen by my supervisor to purchase an emergency travel pass for someone at work.
The address they gave me was a far away, albeit official location for such transactions. Never mind that such things can be bought anywhere. Certainly anywhere within fifty feet of the building where I work. Not to mention, online.
They had handed me the Big, Official location.
All due to googling, no doubt.
I thought to say something. In fact, I started to say the very thing I thought to say (even as I grabbed my coat, my scarf, my bag, my umbrella) the words still sort of spilling out of my mouth even as I got onto the elevator.
I don't think they caught any of this, though.
And so I proceeded to the far away location. Not in a cab but on foot.
This might take hours!
Did I mention how much I love to walk around semi-aimlessly and get paid for it? Even if it was cold out today, and I was dressed not for winter so much as for whatever it was last week, which was pretty great weather-wise, I was okay. Except at the bridge.
It was pretty bad at the bridge.
I made my way to the Headquarters. Of this Particular Place. And great things happened along the way.
For one thing, the sky was just right today.
And I was alarmed by the way neighborhood of my destination had changed. How different it looked at ground level than, say, from the windows of the west bound train.
How brand-new it all appeared. Re-paved. Spotless. As though that entire ward had been put through a dish-washing cycle.
I mean, wasn't I here just a few weeks ago when the combination stench of arson and shrimp baskets was the stuff of local poetry? Where the entirety of it's cracked windows provided a weirdly pleasing multi-faceted, diamond-y effect?
As one skated by, seamlessly via bullet proof train.
Was it the ghetto?
Thermos of reassuring peppermint tea in hand.
Or was it diamonds?
But none of that mattered anymore.
And that's the thing. Now it smelled not like burning buildings and lack of hope so much as crisp one hundred dollar bills. And a little bit like Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent.
I don't have a dish-washer anymore.
That the break from all other activity that washing the dishes currently imposes upon my life, despite the colossal waste of water and feeling that I could just as well be painting and re-painting the same wall over and over again, is one that I've come to terms with. That is to say, utilize in the name of "me-time."
You know, for thinking, worrying, plotting - it could be anything.
I should further mention that the wind at the bridge was not simply bad, today, but flash-freezing bad. As well as veritable hair-do assassination bad (not to be confused with character assassination bad, though there was some of that in there, too).
But did I care?
I mean, some of the Christmas lights that were going up were actually lit. Which created a subtle air of anticipation. A sparkly pre-Halloween, yet, not-exactly-Christmas feeling that I can't quite put my finger on.
Is it raining?
Is it snowing?
Is it day?
Is it night?
Is it raindrops on the windshield?
Raindrops on the windshield reflecting a million shinning, up-side-down microcosm worlds? As seen from in here, the snug interior of this cashmere colored car?
As we oh-so quietly wait for what's next?
And what did those raindrops reflect? Was it something better? Because it seemed like it was something better.
Or is it just another slow, dark day at the photo studio with Miles Davis and oh-so many unruly bath towels to style?
Or is it pumpkins and detectives, again?
All dried blood and alleyways?
All mangled fingers and ubiquitous gifts of money?
Because, as gray as it was today, such lights were better for the contrast.
it's morning. It's dusk.
It's dissonant! It's mildly confusing!
Furthermore, after all of my epic online searches, it was without fanfare that I simply happened upon a mom-and-pop grocery store, here, in the Loop.
Such was the nature of my travels, today.
Just thirty blocks away from work, Bernstein's couldn't be more convenient. And this grocery store had not just a salad bar, but a sandwich bar, as well.
I dropped everything.
This was unprecedented and required all of my focus. I needed to decide.
It was tough, but in the end it was (simply) two thick slices of toasted, whole wheat Italian garlic bread prepared with an herb-infused, homemade mayonnaise, two different kinds of mustard, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and cold, rare sliced roast beef --with a mere finial of imported Greek olives placed stylishly on top.
And then, out of sheer panic, some smoked turkey.
And it was spectacular.
Of course, I could have gone any number of ways. But the above seemed rational if not just as a sandwich. And, seeing as I was a new-comer at Bernstein's, and rightly sensed that I was being eyed as an interloper (that reckless, last minute smoked turkey being the culprit) I thought it best to play down my sandwich choices for the time being.
It was then that I quite casually, in keeping with my guise of blending in at the grocery store, took a bottle of Joy off the shelf and placed it in my basket. You know, for later. For figuring things out.