Blathr Wayne Lorentz

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Blathring in October, 1990

Sunday, October 7th, 1990 Alive 7,103 days

A gray morning in Chicago, Illinois

We finally made it. Six hundred miles. Twelve hours. Five bathroom breaks, and an unknowable amount of Blue consumed, D.A., Tanya, Delphi, and I are finally in Chicago. The Windy City. The City of… clouds, and snow flurries, and getting yelled at by a cop at 7am.

Naturally, I was driving D.A.ʼs Cadillac when the police cruiser cruised up behind us at a red light on an abandoned, wind-swept street corner near Lake Michigan. I was certain we were busted for the mayhem perpetrated at the rest stops along I-80 in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

The cop crawled to a stop behind us.

Everybody be cool!

The cop turned on his pair of rooftop red swirly fishbowl lights.

Donʼt look! Donʼt look suspicious!

Then, the squad carʼs P.A. cracked to life and echoed across the landscape: “Make the turn!”

I had the blinker on. I was sitting at a red light. Right turn on red must be legal in Chicago, so I carefully pressed the accelerator, and as the beast swayed around the corner southward, the Chicago black-and-white (well, apparently blue-and-white in Chicago) glided around us and warped off into dawnʼs early light.

After that near run-in with the fuzz, we needed to calm down. So I pulled up in the most remote parking spaces I could find quickly, and we all chugged more Blue.

A Copernicus monument in front of the Chicago Skyline

It turns out, we were in front of the Adler Planetarium. This would have been a great place to visit, but weʼre all hopped up on sugar water, subsiding fear, lack of sleep, and the knowledge that school is 12 hours away, and some of us have classes Monday morning.

I took a few quick photos with my camera. Tanya took many dozens with hers. We hugged ourselves against the cold and ignored the snowflakes and took in the grayness of it all. Then we piled back into the boat to sail back to Lock Haven.

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