I am dealing with the New York City transit strike by having gone to Chicago before it started. True, Chicago is very, very cold, but I bought a down jacket and boots before I left, so I am toasty and have access to working public transportation.
Everyone in Chicago talks funny. I mean, they really do talk like people talk when they’re imitating Chicago accents. I always assumed that was made up, but it’s not.
What is made up is the idea that people in Chicago, because they talk funny, are also all fresh-faced and naive and innocent. In fact, they are just as annoying and awful as people in New York. Yesterday I had a fifty-minute ride on public transportation, and the annoying girl sitting five feet behind me would not shut the fuck up in her funny accent. “Don’t you feel powerful?” she asked her companion loudly. “I feel so powerful. Like I could just kill somebody.” I wished E.S. were with me, so he could diagnose her. She said it again about twenty minutes later. “Don’t you feel powerful? I feel so powerful. Like I could just kill somebody.”
Me, too, I wanted to say. But to do so would have required unfastening the hood contraption on my jacket that keeps my face from freezing off by allowing only my eyes to peek out from inside its shadowy depths, so instead I held my tongue.