Lights blind my eyes as an onslaught of motorists zoom past, unaware of the lanky thirty-year-old in tank top and teared jeans, dragging feet along with ice coffee in hand.
Unaware… or uncaring.
It takes me a while to recover, but I don’t stop walking. There was no reason to halt in my tracks, shuffle to a corner, and lean by the railing as a boat or two bellowed from the river running below.
I’m used to it.
Chicago never sleeps, and neither do the millions of ants that crawl its streets night and day, heels tap dancing on metal bridges, tongues clicking in response to a muffled voice on the phone, and laughter echoing, reverberating along every alley.
I take another sip from my crush-after-use cup, the weight of which was slowly crushing the earth. I can’t afford to care anymore. I am no longer the save-the-planet idealist I used to be.
That mentality dissolved with my business, my income.
Seven-Eleven has the best ice coffee. It’s so good that you can sense it trickling all the way down your throat, before plopping on the surface of your empty belly and filling it right to the brim.
I enjoy the holiday season—not because of the bells and whistles, but because it’s the only time of year I spend with my parents for their sake. Christmas Day is my dad’s birthday, and four days ago was my mother’s. And despite all the differences we have, despite our irritating tendencies towards each other, we still come together. Sometimes it’s more out of duty than love, but we’re there for each other nevertheless.
But not everyone’s like that. This is still just another day for countless of people in our world—first, second, third.
While most of us spend our day with friends and family, some spend it with those who have nothing. It’s important to recognise them, but most important—to sustain well beyond this one day.
I don’t know what Christmas is all about, but I sure as hell know that it’s not about being philanthropic one day and impervious for the rest of the year.