Sunday, January 15, 2006

What a difference a day makes.

This is just a quick update to let you all know I'm still here. That isn't just a phrase to me today, the reason why will become apparent as you read on. First, the news: I've been in Naperville, Illinois most of this week for training for my job. I had the weekend to myself, so i went into the city to hang out with some friends from Texas. They have a gorgeous apartment on the lakefront with a view from the 42nd floor! Oh-Mah-Gawd! It's terrific, they're fun peeps, and the weekend was shaping up to be incredible.

Yesterday we went out to have the quintessential Chicago Hot Dog experience, and that's where it gets weird. On our way out to the hot dog stand, a guy jumped from a 20-story building across the street from us. He was literally directly across the street, about 30 feet away. He landed on a Blazer-type vehicle and smashed the roof in. Glass went everywhere. All my lifeguard instincts kicked in, I guess, because I ran across the street and started checking airway, breathing, circulation... I grabbed some wool gloves from the back of the vehicle he'd smashed in, stopped the bleeding from the obvious cuts and tried to get him to lie still and talk to me. Someone else pulled a jacket out and covered him to help keep him warm. His name was Luke, and he was 25 years old. This morning, the paper covered the incident in 9 lines of a 2-inch column. The paper said he'd been transported to a hospital in critical condition and that's all. The only words he could get out were his name, and his medications: Prozac. I'm still rattled about it. I was riding the "El" late last night and in the fluorescent light of the train car, I could see where his blood had smeared on my black leather jacket.

Now for the good stuff: We did manage to go on with our day after all that, got some yummy dogs (i had a beer brat!) and went to the Adler Planetarium. I went and met up with another friend who joined us for dinner at Kamehashi for sushi -- wow! I love Brazilian Lobster Roll! -- and then out for a few drinks on Halsted ave., the Chicago gayborhood.

I was really glad for the company. I would've been happy to spend time with my friends anyway, but I really needed it last night. I wouldn't have wanted to go back to a hotel room and sit alone with thoughts of Luke or try to distract myself with something like a book... I just don't think that would've worked. So, anyway, the phrase "an update to let you all know I'm still here" means something different to me today than it would've meant yesterday.

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