I toss about this for a good part of the night: snowstorm Friday. I need to be in Chicago in the evening. What if traffic comes to a grinding halt? I can’t be late. Should I take the 11:30 bus (It’s a three hour trip)? Just in case? No, not good enough. Maybe the 10 a.m. Or, should I go even earlier, like on the 8:30?
In the end, I decide I need the time in my office before heading out. Ed drops me there just as the light of the morning takes hold. It’s not snowing yet, but I tell Ed to be careful, knowing damn well that he tunes out every such warning. We’re down to one car (the red hot lover) and a truck – his old Geo went up in smoke yesterday and he may or may not be able to fix it. And it’s not as if the red hot lover projects reliability, on snow or otherwise.
The bus ride today is longer, of course it is. It’s snowing fiendishly by the time we get on the interstate. I settle in to work, feeling rather sorry for those who are anticipating flight delays (it’s the airport bus).
Ahh, plenty of time. But I am loaded down. Birthday gifts – yes and normally this would not be awkward and clumsy but I am also carrying a sack full of work papers and, assuming that my little one isn’t going to read Ocean before tonight’s celebrations (she is at work), I am also lugging the carpet I picked up for her in Tanger.
Ah yes – this was the great deliberation, resulting in a too low price and a happy, for me, purchase. And perhaps now you understand how truly kind Ed was to strap the thing onto his backpack and carry it through our hikes thereafter – including on the beaches of Tarifa and to and from our hotel in Córdoba. Sometimes he asks me, teasingly -- you don't think I'm too nice to you? (For instance, when he buys me a cup of coffee.) For this, I would have had to answer (knowing how much he hates to be burdened with things) -- yes, I do.
And, too, perhaps you’ll sympathize more with the mod hotel owner in Córdoba who took one look at Ed’s pack with a carpet in an old ugly plastic wrap, strapped to one side and a huge tube containing the broken down painting and frame, strapped to the other and dismissed us thereafter as quaintly odd.
It is a testament to how little we otherwise take with us to say that Delta examined our various parcels and concluded they fit within the “carry-on” restrictions.
So now here I am, in Chicago, lugging the darn thing and then all the rest, looking for the café I was told could accommodate me for the three or four hours I have to wait until we meet up and head for a family (and various sundry boyfriends, though not my own – I need not remind you how Ed feels about birthdays) dinner.
Ah, there’s the café. Ipsento. Almost missed it -- the coffee cup logo is blending with the white snow.
And here’s my drink of choice. I wont bother showing you my five bundles. Bundles are not cool.
And I wont worry just yet about walking the ten blocks from here to her place in the blowing snow. For the daughters. One does stuff for them, with such joy! That’s just the way it is.