I was standing in warm shower this evening, about to make one of those no-win decisions to get out when it occurred to me: “it’s not actually -50 degrees here.” I don’t live in Chicago. I live in Portland. If the temperature does reach that incredible trough tomorrow, we will likely be 100 degrees warmer here. I know we’re missing out on the collective experience of living through such a miserable day as a Chicagoan, but I really don’t mind sitting this one out.
The dark night of every Chicagoan soul takes place at a windswept bus stop or el platform each February. It is there, in absurd bundles that provide so little protection from the slicing gales, do they curse and wonder why they live in this city. When there’s a day where you physically can’t be outside to experience that feeling and it’s not even February yet, you know you’re in a particularly harsh, quintessentially Chicago winter.