Whether.

Time to Settle Accounts

February 10, 2012: Whether.

“No coat?” Justin asked from the couch when I reached the door. It was 10:30 a.m.; I’d taken a look out the window and saw grass, branches, and concrete and settled on jeans, a button down, a sweater, my hat, and my blue L.A. shoes.

“Looks kinda warm,” I said.

“How can it look warm?” He banged away at his computer. “34 degrees.”

“God dammit,” I muttered, and walked to the closet to grab my winter coat. When I left Marshall less than an hour later to head downtown, the snow was swirling around me. A far cry from Los Angeles, certainly…

I had a meeting at True Star at 3, and at 2:15 I trudged into Harold’s, wiping clean my now-battle-tested Top Siders. I got my chicken and took a seat in a booth. To my right past the divider was a young man eating alone. He wore a black coat with black hair and a black beard and clear braces and quiet eyes. We were the only two people eating in the restaurant.

“How’s your day going?” I said after a bit.

He looked around, confirming my intentions, and then said, “Oh – uh, great. Yours?”

“Great!” I said.

“Do you go to school here?” he asked, referring to nearby Columbia College.

“No, I just look young. You?” He nodded. “What year?”

“Junior, but it’s my first year here.”

“Where did you come from?”

“Los Angeles.”

“Get out! I just got back from there yesterday.”

“Did you like it?”

“It’s wonderful. The oranges are AMAZING. And of course,” I motioned toward the window and the falling snow, “you know.”

“I like it here,” he said. “Beats 80 degrees any day.”

I stared in disbelief, and then giggled nervously. “Uh… you serious?”

“Not really. But it is kind of neat.”

“Snow,” I said incredulously, confirming.

“Yeah,” he said. “This is my first time seeing falling snow. I can see how it wears you out, but heat wears you out too.” He took a bite of his chicken and wiped the sauce from his mouth. “Besides,” he said, “I’m here to work, to meet new people, get a new perspective. Can’t do that in Chicago without snow.”

I smiled. “No, I suppose not.”

“Weather’s just weather,” he said, enjoying another bit of chicken. “I’m here to work.”

NEXT: Many moons. (2.11.12)

PREVIOUS: Happiness is. (2.9.12)

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6 Replies to “Whether.”

      1. Bev! Glad to hear Genevieve is enjoying USC. I’m sure that whole “I miss the snow” thing is just part of a larger “I’m still a little homesick” thing. She’ll snap out of that soon enough…

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