Jessie Visits

Jessie, a friend of mine from way back in college, was in Chicago for a Book Expo. I’ve known Jessie now some… let’s see, ten years now? Back when I was an undergrad, I had a terrific crush on her (having first met her in a poetry class, if memory serves). We fell out of talking the past few years, and I was surprised and delighted to get an email from her a few days before she was to be in town.

After work, I headed over to her hotel and the two of us wandered a bit, catching up. Eventually, we found our way to some Italian restaurant, and decided to get a table outside. A bottle of wine and a lot of pasta later, we filled each other in on the past five years. Lots of relationship talks, lots of job stuff, where we’ve moved to and of course, the writing life.

This was a great dinner. We talked at length, ordered coffee and just sat outside as the day slowly came to an end. Afterwards, we walked around some more and decided on heading to the Hancock Tower. I have never been to the top, despite numerous opportunities (and technically, I think Stu still owes me a trip up there, for building his site).

Ground floor, waiting for the elevator.

The Signature Lounge, located on the 96th floor of the Hancock Tower. If the drinks don’t get you dizzy, the view will. As it turns out, both Jessie and I are extremely afraid of heights (which makes me wonder why in the hell we both decided that this was a good idea). Initially, we paused by the reception area and I literally had to hold onto a table before I could really move.

Eventually, we made our way to a table close to a window. Took me a while to get situated (I swear, I was inching my way into my seat). But once we got settled, I was pretty ok. The view, really, is spectacular.

Jessie being silly, on our way down. Much like the Sears Tower, the buttons on this elevator are pretty straightforward. There’s like two: Ground and 96.

Jessie and I hopped a cab, she got out at her hotel and I headed off back home to get packed for my trip to Mexico. What a great night – two old friends, talking to one another after many years, sharing the arcs of their lives with one another. Awesome. :)—–

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