All I wanted was to say goodbye

I’ve known this day was coming.  I wasn’t expecting it to be today.  I also was expecting it to be today, if that makes any sense.  I think that’s why I sent the text

Would you have told me if I hadn’t texted?  Or would I have found out days later thanks to Instagram or Facebook?  That question will haunt me for months

I cycle quickly through different stages of grief.  Skipping denial and acceptance, for the most part

Anger… why today?  why wouldn’t you tell me?  why do you keep avoiding saying goodbye?

Depression… did I not matter?  is this the end of our friendship?  will I ever see you again?

All I wanted was to say goodbye

Is it too hard for you?  Or too easy, not worth the trouble.  That question will also haunt me for months

I send another text.  Wishing you the best.  Sending my love and that I will miss you.  Holding you to the lunch we were supposed to have this week

You reply “Deal”

No love, no missing, just Deal.  So we will see each other again out of obligation?

I wanted more.  I needed more.  I expected… well, about this

I get through work, somehow.  I feel alone for the first time despite being working home alone for nearly 2 years

I try to put it… you… out of my mind.  Hell, I’ve been trying to do that for years.  One of these days, it will work

We had some good times since we met.  Some bad ones too.  Through it all, I thought we had built something meaningful for both of us.  Was I wrong?

Haunt… months…

I wanted to do it last week, but you said wait.  We were going to get together that one last time.  We would do it then

Did you know?  That we would not get together and that you would sneak away and leave me alone to the bad thoughts in my head?

All I wanted was to say goodbye

A Double Birthday

Just like two years ago, we celebrate Angelina’s (and my) birthday with this picture of us, taken just minutes before the end of our birthday as Danny’s band competition wrapped up at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis and we were getting ready to go out and “celebrate” with a late night dinner at a dive diner, which went about as well as you can imagine, considering it was the Saturday night before Halloween.

20 Years Of Remembrance

It was a normal Tuesday morning, 20 years ago this morning, when someone stopped by my desk to say that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and that we were under attack.  Little did I know that for once, Chicken Little was right and the sky really was falling.

Most of the morning remains a blur.  Updates were hard to get through traditional sources and most of the news I was getting was from the old Warren Ellis forum on Delphi and whatever incarnation of the Bendis Board was up at the time.  At one point, I went out to my car to get an update from the Howard Stern show, which at the time was on a one hour tape delay here in Chicago, but we were one of the few markets that cut away from the show in order to simulcast a news station.

We all know what happens next: the Pentagon gets hit, another flight crashes in Pennsylvania, and, eventually, the towers fell.  We went to a pretty deserted Superdawg for lunch that day, listening to the radio for updates the entire time.  I remember the eerie drive to the gym after work, as people were as polite as they’ve even been on the roads.

The legacy of that day is messy.  Two long, ill-advised wars followed.  The nation united in a way that it is unable, or unwilling, to do today, as the COVID pandemic, our biggest tragedy since the 9/11 attacks, continues to rage as the right battles against both masks and vaccinations.

It’s a day that, for a little while, unified the country, but at great cost.  A day we would all like to forget.  A day we never will.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Crosstown Doubleheader

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We conclude things this week with one of the entries from the Sports category: Crosstown Doubleheader, from Chicago, IL.

Usually, at least once during the baseball season, there’s a Cubs home day game followed buy a Sox home night game – or vice versa.  When these scheduling stars align, hop on the Red Line and hit both games for a crosstown day-night doubleheader.

One of the best things about living in a two-team town is the occasional opportunity to take in two games, one at each park, in the same day.  There have been 7 times I’ve watched both the Cubs and the Sox on the same day at their respective homes: first, in 2003 as the Rockies defeated the Cubs and the Mariners throttled the White Sox, and most recently last season, as the Nationals beat the Cubs and the Rangers shut out the White Sox.

There was an 8th instance, in 2004, where I took in games in both parks on the same day, but it didn’t involve the White Sox.  The afternoon tilt that day at US Cellular Field was between the Expos and the Marlins, relocated to Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan. That night, the Cubs slipped past the Pirates at Wrigley Field.