Is this the better way to spend the day?

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The Decemberists – January Hymn

The news lady says it was the coldest day in Chicago for over a year. I don’t heed her and forget my hat.

After hiking the two and a half blocks to the El, I stand under the heat lamps on the platform for the pink line. Wind whistles through my sneakers. I can see my breath; I can see the shadow of my breath on the cement in front of me. My brow burns from the stinging cold, right between my eyebrows. I try rubbing it, then I massage some warmth into my ears. Should have left them numb, now they just hurt more.

I like public transportation. I’ve never really lived in a city where it was convenient, so I always get excited when visiting cities that do. (“It’s less exciting when you use it every day for three years,” Freeze points out when I get back to her apartment). With my earbuds in, I just watch people.

A mid-20s lady looks despondent, even with pink hair. Some guy carries an empty crock pot. Two teenage girls chomp on some Cheetos. Out on the street, and older man smokes a cigarette with his hands jammed deep in his pockets. A runner lets one arm hang next to his body, awkwardly limp.

A homeless man walks up to me, snot frozen into his beard, and asks if I would “give a little something from my heart.” I wonder if he would prefer money or maybe just a cuddle to keep warm. But I offer neither and keep huddling forward after my breath. [Buy.]

4 Responses to “Is this the better way to spend the day?”

  1. Freeze says:

    You should have given him a cuddle, I think.

  2. TjW says:

    ^^ I think money would’ve been his desire.

  3. dream on says:

    The inner sight of your own soul seeing the outside.

  4. Sam says:

    I’m glad you did a write-up of the Decemberists, their new album is splendid. I love “This Is Why We Fight” and “January Hymn”. Nice one, Zac.

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