Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh this so sux

Quick cosmic question for the odd Augustan poet out there: Exactly which Circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno can Chicago in the wintertime be found? I awoke at dawn this day only to discover a 3 inch blanket of ice and cinder covering my usually (6 months a year) bucolic parkway. Neither household pet would go near the veranda doors although bladders and curious minds were certainly brimming (my first morning chore regardless of climate, animal relief). The coffee tasted flat and the radiators in the house were clinking like a fleet of old tin lizzies. Oh...and it was garbage day--cans by the curb. (Minor household repairs, coffee and trash--also my chores.)

A month or so before I relocated to Chicago back in 1995 I was under the (wrong) impression that I'd soon be moving to Delray Beach, Florida. It was sort of a company transfer thing and my options (a direct order from my vice president) were limited (nonexistent). I had already resigned from my established position--and been replaced--in Virginia (beautiful 11 months a year) and was awaiting my turn in the corporate re-organization queue (take it or leave it) of a Fortune 500 insurance giant (with a very small unFortunate--the giant, that is--wiener). I pissed someone off upstairs (go figure) then suddenly, one day, they shoveled me off to Chicago instead of Delray and the rest is deep frozen history (the other 6 months a year here). So today I stand before the frosted window, 13 years to that fateful day later, wondering...once again...WTF???

"Where's your winter coat?" People would often ask me during those first few seasons in this, the windiest of all frozen cities.

"This is my winter coat," I'd reply, teeth chattering, ears frozen, eyes watering from behind my Ray Bans.

"That's not a winter coat," they'd parry. "That's a Members Only jacket."

"It goes with my boots," I'd say, looking down at my thin soled, Italian leather, hand crafted slip ons---mortally soaked and stained with cinder and salt, my skinned head uncovered as well.

"Those aren't boots," they'd declare before pointing down to their own buckskin and fur lined knee highs with Gore-Tex outers and Vibram soles, "These are boots!...And where's your hat?"

And so it continued until I got a real estate license and purchased my first condo in this incongruous love/hate city of soot and sparkle. I met the woman I'd eventually (instantly) love and marry and she would then forever after buy me hats and coats and boots til death does its part. And now, on any given day from December through April, I look like a duck hunter roaming the streets of the big city for my next meal. So on this, the onset of my 14th year in Chicago, I must once again ask to whomever might be listening....."WTF? Exactly which Circle of Hell..........."

Geno Petro

(image is not my car but if it was, I doubt I'd bother washing it either)

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