12 june 13
The blue and white bus lurches as it moves, almost pendulum-like, from a speedy cruise to a grinding halt and back again. I don't dare look out the city sooted back window, but I imagine the tornado predicted by our local meteorologists is right behind us, turning the sky green in our wake like tinted cellophane pulled tight over a summer bowl of potato salad.
Because my office is Scroogey with the holidays and skimps on the employee bonuses, it was shocking to receive an email earlier than afternoon notifying us of an early dismissal due to the incoming storm. The idea of being released from our cubicles due to the weather caused a slight panic. How severe must this weather system be if we are offered more than the usual single pea to split between us for Christmas dinner?
Faced with a surprise early dismissal on a regular day, and I would have huffed and puffed about the inconvenience, pushed around some papers on my desk, and then been the last one to leave - struggling to his send on just one more email. I'd eventually head homes to wait out the storm in my one bedroom apartment, coaxing the cat to lay by me and delightedly watching episodes of Antiques Roadshow. On this not-regular day, I changed into track pants and a hooded sweatshirt and shut down my computer. I loped over to the train station with an absurdly large neon pack strapped to my back like an overloaded urban bicycle delivery guy, and waited for a westbound bus.
On this not-normal day, I conjured the me of ten years ago, and headed toward the airport to board an overnight flight, ready to travel and hostel solo in Europe for the first time.
A doomsday superstorm stalking chicago seemed like jut the way to start this adventure.
Stay tuned for more...