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.]