I woke up with the mentality that I would tackle any challenge. Exams for school are done for the semester, and my only need was to make it to work today. I knew my transportation was to be compromised, as the car I share with my sister was in her possession. She had exams yet; I was done. There was not a complaint on my end, because I know that the added challenge can result in some phenomenal experiences. I know that the struggle to get from point A to point B can actually be a cheery affair with the right attitude. So today I woke up assured it was going to go well for me. I was first going to pick up my paycheck, because the pet shop doesn’t do direct deposit. Then I would manage to make my way to campus another city away to fulfill duties at the library.
Before I even left the house, I came to realize there was a dilemma in my travel. I didn’t have a bike accessible and though there was no snow on the ground, the air was quite cold. I knew it would require great endurance to haul along a gift because I also planned to deliver a secret santa present at a food gathering arranged by library student staff that evening. We were going to go get sushi as a last hurrah. Many of these girls I’ve worked with for years now, and the time to graduate is nigh for them. Not me yet, but that’s another story. Anyways, I had this awkwardly packaged gift which was really many gifts. So I came up with a solution to haul a wheeled cooler behind me like luggage at an airport. I would walk the twenty minute walk and the bundle wouldn’t burden me. I delighted in throwing many items into the box for my coworker. It was mostly random, small things, but all held meaning. I meant to brighten someone’s day. There was a Subway sack featuring Guardians of the Galaxy images, stuffed with everything from body spray to a necklace and hair ties and a small plastic sea turtle. She likes turtles, I mused. I threw fake roaches and googly eyes and candies and toy lizards in the box as well. Why not? All fun things, of which I have ample supply. I struck out for the day, then, with hope in my soul and less tedious baggage for the journey. I rolled that cooler up the street and down many other streets. Men I passed would acknowledge this sight with a “Merry Christmas” gesture. How kind. How oblivious I am to the evils of others in the broad daylight, I thought. Nobody seems inclined to hurt me. But I understand it is wise to be wary as I travel solo and encumbered in the cold. It was very cold.
By the time I made it to Old Town, the sweat under my coat stuck to my skin and I struggled to push my body further. I was walking so quickly. Oh how I wished I could walk faster. I stopped for a mere minute to admire the river below the bridge on this chilly day and breathe a little better. When I made it to the pet store, I retrieved my paycheck and before I could greet my friends who were on the clock, I spied a bag of snacks that seemed particularly appealing in my physically compromised state. I snagged a bag of chocolate covered potato chips and told the lady at the front counter to put it on my house charge. Then I sat and took a few bites and cracked open the envelope. Because I spend so much here, I never know what I’ll bring home at the end of the week. I peeked inside and smiled to myself. Better than I expected! That’s always reason to celebrate. Then I went to say hello to my fellow pet store staff who are practically my second family. I shared with each I encountered the sinfully delightful snack. I heard many compare it to the flavor of a french fry dipped in a frosty. Ah, yes. I was so happy to hang out for a bit, browse new saltwater fish, and joke with friends. I couldn’t stay long, however. I needed to make haste to my next destination. I needed to brave the cold once more.
I thought up many ways I could make it to Michigan Avenue. I really just needed to hop on the Number One bus to get a straight shot to campus. However, I was a bit out of the way by now, and time was of the essence. I quickly decided to roll my cooler down Cedar st. and many blocks away to reach downtown. This decision was also a taxing one, and though I hustled as best I could, I still had to stop every now and then. I still felt the strain of my demands. I slumped onto the bench when I reached the site across from the Lugnuts Stadium. Funny, I didn’t feel cold at all. Perhaps it was getting warmer in the day. Perhaps I worked up a good sweat. My timing was good, and the bus arrived moments later. I relished the warmth on-board and breathed in warm breaths. There were a lot of people here, I could tell as I glanced. I clutched my cooler and held on tight.
I wasn’t even late to work. I couldn’t believe it. I had time to indulge in a twenty-five cent water at the cafe before I rode the elevator up to my workplace. It felt tremendously good to have gotten by on my quick scheme for the day. I made it.
I passed around the bag of chocolate covered chips at work. I just love giving. I gifted my secret santa present prematurely, but the girl I was assigned would not attend our sushi dinner. It was interesting to watch her open it, but at the same time, I felt ashamed for the amount of effort I intended to put into it to really make it stand out that just never happened. It had to do. I don’t have all the time in the world, after all, though I may convince myself sometimes. I worked my four hours til close. Then the sushi party commenced. I was dropped off rather unexpectedly early for the event and was the first to show for our reservation. So I took to chatting with the host. It’s always interesting to talk to new people. Everyone is so different, yet relies on key similarities to make connections. A few minutes past 6 pm and a few minutes late, the party arrived. The sushi was delicious. The company impeccable. I was given a gift card to Noodles and Company for a future meal, which was appreciated. I also was driven home at the end of it all. This entire day operated on a whim and no car. So I like to think….
No car? Will adventure!