Chicago’s winter may be one for the record books, they say. I am not one to buy into weather hysteria, but this has been a ‘truer’ Chicago winter than some we’ve had lately. As such, it calls for stoicism (yes, like the Russian kind) in the face of true physical danger and bodily suffering.
I had dressed for work on a recent morning but decided that it was simply too cold to leave. I ended up working at home all day, occasionally going to the window to marvel at the brilliance of the subzero day.
For these bitter days are deceptively lovely. The sky is bright, a flawless blue. In the blinding sunlight, white plumes rise from furnaces and boilers that are incessantly working, working, working. The plumes’ shadows, unnaturally distinct, writhe across the buildings’ clean facades, their ‘patterns’ unpredictable, mesmerizing.