Chris Schmidt (crschmidt) wrote,
Chris Schmidt

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Chicago, from thursday

Boy oh boy. Jess keeps buggin me about writing this Chicago trip report. She doesn't want it to end up like my still unfinished year in review, I suppose.

This has now been open several hours with no work done on it. I'm really dedicated, really. (and now, this file has been open for approximately 48 hours, and I just finished it.)

Okay, so most of you could have read that other entry. Jess wrote that one, I just reposted it. Not mine at all, because I'm a big lazy plagerist. and stuff. But I do want to write one.

So, I guess I should start.

But first, some warnings. One, if you're in bad shit with your relationship right now, reading this will probably not help you feel better about it. Save it for another day, it'll still be here, barring LiveJournal death. Two, there are sexual parts of this entry. However, they have been cut seperately and put into a different entry. So, you can read this lj-cut without fear of seeing any of that. However, you will wish to skip any of the lj-cut looking links. Additionally, some of you may be unable to read the sex stuff. If you can't, that's because I don't want you to. Sorry.

To those of you knew to my Friend-of list, this type of entry is extremely uncommon. My typical entry is short, spammy, and generally overly technical. But every now and then I do have an experience I like to share, and this is one of them.

This is approximately 17k long. The entry which contains the other cuts is an additional 5k. Please keep comments on the sex on that entry (, comments on the more mundane stuff here. I may expand on this - if I do, I will mention it in a later post.

I have pictures. The icon on this post is an example. I need to discuss with Jess what she's okay having online, and then put them somewhere (on dialup. ew.). I will do that when she gets home from Seattle and let you all know what's up.

I woke up around 6:15 to my dad knocking on the door. Were it not for my family, this entire thing would probably have never occured. A thank you goes out to them, despite the fact that they'll never see this. I got up, got shit together - my 30 pages of things to do in chicago, emails, directions, etc, as well as my camera, a cell phone, money (in case of drug deals that i might need to make... or just, ya know, being in chicago).

Got shit together, signed onto IRC, panicked, and was comforted a bit by rho:
[06:17:17] <chris> she's going to hate me. just you wait.
[06:17:57] <rho> chris: have you ever considered trying being pessimistic?
[06:18:17] <chris> rho: Yes, but I was no good at it ;)
[06:18:24] * chris hugs rho. "Thanks" :)
[06:18:53] <rho> you're welcome, i'm sure :) you'll be fine

I felt a lot better after that - rho pointed out that everything would be fine, and she's right about everything, so everything would be fine. :)

I got everything together and tried to urge my father out the door - an effort that, sadly, turned out to be entirely in vain. He took the wrong way out of our neighborhood - not one that wouldn't work, but the one where you have to wait at the light that takes 105 seconds to cycle. That screwed us up enough to the point where we missed the train I was planning on taking to get downtown, messing my entire time schedule up a significant amount. I'm just having trouble with trains lately - first, I miss dropping of alacrity by 2-3 minutes, then I miss my own train - it started moving as we pulled up to it. This trend wasn't over yet, but that comes later.

Anyway, we figure out there's a train leaving from the next station 15 minutes later, and boogy on out there. Luckily, we do make that one in time. I compose a text to jess while waiting on the train platform:

"Jess - dad messed up, we missed the train. I will call when in closer. Sched to arrive @ 815 which puts of " (stupid predictive text. shoulda been me) " on the next L. Hope this works. Love you. $phonenumberhere".

I looked out the window most of the trip - couldn't concentrate to read or pay attention to anything, couldn't sleep because I was too damn nervous. I got out of the train, out into chicago, took one breath, looked up, and smiled. I love the city - walking out between those huge buildings, knowing that there are several million people snuggled tightly around you - it's comforting, in a way. I soon moved on from my reverie and headed for the washington and wells L station. I figured out how to buy a card, (not hard) and after 3 tries, I figured out how to get the turnstyle to take it (a bit more difficult. It's confusing!). Got on the Orange Line to midway, and spent the entire trip out staring at the Map of the L system, counting stops every time like they had changed.

Called Jess several times, and established that we would just meet at the L station at Midway to save time. I was on a different end of the train from where she was waiting, so I walked up on the platformy thing in the middle and looked for her. Saw a girl in a black button down sitting on a bench, looking rather lonely. There really wasnt' a a whole lot of of other people around (read: none.) so I figured it was her and snuck slowly down next to her. I made it behind her without her noticing, and jumped over the bench next to her. She looked over for a split second - first scared to shit because some strange guy had plopped down next to her, then another half second to make sure i was who I was - then wrapped her arms around me tightly. I still say that that moment right there was one of the most ecstatic of my life - just wrapping a girl in my arms that I had fallen in love with for the first time.

After embracing jess on "a concrete bench in a dirty train station in chicago" or whatever she said, we eventually made our way to the next L train out, deciding that the seats would be more comfy. We pulled a bench, and she laid her head against me and closed her eyes, an expression of pure happiness on her face. To look down, at a girl you love, and see a smile on her face that's there because of you... amazing.

I was still in shock. We didn't let go of each other for pretty much the entire ride in. To be honest, we didn't spend a lot of time apart for most of the day. We were constantly being one of the most annoyingly touchy feely couples that I have ever seen. It was nice :) I've been doing the long distance thing for long enough to know how painful the next couple months are going to be. To disgust several hundred people in Chicago was worth it to get to be perfectly happy for that one day. And I was - it was amazing just to be there, with her... the girl I spend two hours a night on the phone with, who I tell everhthing, ask everything, confer with on everything. So nice to see her, to hug her, to feel her, to have her there.

We got off the L at a stop that seemed good - where I got on. We stepped off and got our first really private moment. We stood... first kiss ) As the next train pulls up, we break apart, and decide it's time to move on. We exit the L platform, passing through a double turnstyle (there were two! it was nifty!) and head to street level. She and I have no real goal in mind - it's still raining and cloudy, meaning sears tower viewing is not ideal. We wander around, looking at things, and eventually head to get some food. I was reaching for sbarros, but we realize it was still pretty early in the morning, and went into a mcdonalds instead. The entire time we were walking around, we were hanging on each other, but not in a bad way. We were able to move apart, we could walk along without being in constant contact, but we could also just be comfortable walking together, hand in hand, enjoying the people, the sights, the sounds, the smells.

I think at some point the little thing with jess attempting to outstubborn me occured. She failed. As she walked back, I pulled out a camera, and she stepped away, and leaned against a lightpole. exhibitionsts, we are ) We kept walking along after that, me jumping all over the place. After we picked up some food in McDonalds, we wandered a bit, and then decided the weather had cleared up enough to head up to the big tall building. I've been up the Sears Tower before, but it was years ago, and I wanted to go again. Somewhere between getting there and stuff, I got accosted by a crackhead lady promising me her wedding ring if i could put her on a bus. When Jess gestured no to me (thank god for her. I can NOT deal with addicts. I think I'd be sitting in downtown chicago with nothing but mysocks and shoes had jess not been there.) I moved on, but the crackhead threatened to tell the cop, and gestured to a non-existant video camera in the sky that was taping me. Damn crackheads.

Anyway, I dug out the address for Sears Tower. Unfortunately, I'm an idiot, and had no idea where it was. I was going to go right to look at the addresses on the other side of street. Jess tapped my shoulder, I turned around, and she pointed up. "Is that it?" She asked. I mentally smacked myself and nodded in agreement. It was one block to our left and I had been planning to go right :P

Anyway. We got there. Through security, no problem. All the metal in jess's body just isn't enough to set off the metal detector, I guess. Her opinion is that just means she needs more ;) (for those of you who don't know, jess has a myriad of body piercings and is always talking about getting more. Tongue, navel, ears, and others that she has plans for in the future.) Anyway, we made our way through, and over to the elevator rather confusedly. I always forget that the place where you have to pay is not on the first floor. It's safer that way, I suppose, but it's also confusing as hell to have to take the elevator just so you can buy a ticket to take an elevator. But we took that and stuff. Went up to the next floor, got our picture taken, despite violent protestations by Jess. She is extremely violent in her oppisition to being photographed. This is quite sad, as it probably means I'll never be able to get her to participate in any nude photography for me ;).

We had to watch an 8 minute movie - Sky High Chicago. Before it started, we snuggled up outside the theater-thing for 10 minutes... I think we scared people away. People kept staring. It was nice to just lean against her, to hear her heart beat and have her play with my hair. To just rest there and enjoy each other... I almost wished there was no one there, so we could have just curled up together like that for the day. Once the video doors opened, we hoped for a dark room and an empty back row. Makeout row in the movie theater! ) we completely ignored the entire 8 minute presentation on Illinois.

After that, there was a crowded elevator ride to the Skydeck, during which "cute" cartoon characters told us a bit about the tower. I really could have done without the cartoon characters - I normally don't mind such things, but I really got little - to - no sleep and The voices were extremely loud and annoying. I just wanted to kill them, and Jess muttered something to the same effect, I believe. However, that was only 90 seconds, and we were at the top of the tallest building in the world.

It's been a long time since I've been up in sears, and walking out is always stunning. The day was still slightly cloudy, but the view was still amazing. You could see all these tiny little things down on the ground, and then you realized that 10 minutes ago, you had been one of those tiny things. Those toy cars were actually vehicles carrying people, the brown patches of dirt baseball fields. For a while, we just walked around and clung to each other. I'd walk up behind her, put my head next to hers, and wrap my arms around her. I'd notice something, and point it out, some mundane sculpture or building. We were up there for a long time - the day just kept getting clearer. I snuck a few shots of her looking out the windows into the unknown, staring at the landscape or just nothing at all. She asked if we could go to the lake. I said sure, it wasn't far at all. Eventually, after about an hour of steadily increasing visibility, we decided that there were other things to be enjoyed, possibly in a spot with slightly fewer people.

We made it out of the tower without being forced to buy any souviner items, thank god. Like the 9.50 it costs to go up there isn't enough, they have to try and steal our money on the way out.

Once back on ground level, we headed east, towards the lake, because that was the last palce I remember jess saying she wanted to go. (as in, the last place she mentioned, not that she didn't want to go there. (I am so tired i am so tired i'm about to p ass out.) We were walking along looking at things, when we saw the pink flamingo sculpture that looks very little like a flamingo of pink or any other color. However, we walked over and sat underneath it for a while, and I got pictures of it, a coupl of them neato, then i just laid down with my head in jess's lap for a little bit while she rested. She was so cuddly, i never wanted to let go. But eventually, I decided actually getting somewhere would be nice. So we kept walking towards the lake.

Before we got to the lake, we found a park. We stopped there for a little bit in the shade of the trees before walking on, past a guy who jess says was "doing lines of his cd" - I wouldn't know, but he sure did look suspicious to me. He kept staring at us, which was unnevering. I don't really like being stared at. We kept walking, passing by some guys setting stuff up for the taste, at which point I realized... their eyes followed her by. When she walked past them, their heads swiveled like no more than a cheap cursor following taskbar tool. I got confused, and mentioned it to jess, who explained that yes, she does get stared at all the time. It was still confusing to me.

We walked by the buckingham fountain. Jess, in typical form: "What does it do?" "You're looking at it." It was pretty, and I took pictures, and stuff.

When Jess is standing by herself, she has a very military stance that's different from the way that most girls would probably stand. She sets up a base for herself that won't let her get knocked over. Very self-protective, and I doubt she even realizes it, or would say I'm misinterpreting it if she did, but to me... it's another one of those little things you see in person that you can't see any other way. I took soem snapshots of the fountain, then came back and practically pounced her. She's so fun to run up to ;). There's so many things about her that make her fun in real life.

We kept walking, and eventually sat down under some trees by Lake Shore Drive. We kind of layed all over each other. Sex in the park? not quite. ) We decided to move to somewhere a bit more private.

We were walking around and at one point we stopped on this parkway thing by the Congress Hotel. She laid her head in my lap and we talked - a bit about the future, a bit about the past, things that were easier to talk about when we were together than they might be if we were apart. We did get some issues put behind us, I think, but I'm not sure if we simply brought more up. This relationship is really going to be hard, no matter what happens, and that's something that's going to be difficult. However, it can be done. I just need to... meh. This is about the present, another entry about the future can come later if enough people poke me.

Anyway, after some talking, we went for food. By the time we got back to a district where I didnt' feel scared of food poisining or being mugged, I was starving. I had 2 6 inch steak and cheeze subs (no, not 1 12 inch. I didn't realize how hungry I was to start) and Jess and I walked back to a park.

We laid down underneath the shade of a tree in the corner farthest from most people. We got there around 3 or 3:15, if memory serves (which it's starting not to). For a while we just kind of laid there. sensual )

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. After spending an hour or more in the park, we finally realized we needed to go back to Midway to take her to her plane. We boarded the L back (and got off at the next stop - there were signal problems delaying the train at the station, so it was CROWDED). It was an uneventful ride out to midway - we did much the same as we had the ride in, laying on each other and generally being clingy. When the L arrived, we walked to the end of the platform, to say our goodbyes in a bit more privacy.

Jess didn't want to leave. (No surprise there, right ladies, knowing me? ;)) I sat her down on the bench, and we talked a bit about it. She knew she had to, she just didn't want to. I can't blame her- I didn't want her to leave, but I couldn't exactly cling to her. Someone has to be the grownup, it just fell to me that time. ;) I was standing in front of her, with her sitting there, and I then got on my knees so I could look her mostly level. last stop ) She realized that she really did need to leave, and NOW, and we wandered up to the platformy thing and said goodbye.

I came back, grabbed the furthest corner of the L train car, and pulled out my book. I didn't want to think about anything, I just wanted to get back and get to work at that point. I missed her the second I turned my back after saying goodbye, but I needed to, and that was all there was to it. I rode the train back, snapping about 50 shots of random things - chicago skyline and sears tower, mostly. The current icon on this post is a shot I took that I'm especially proud of.

The L got stopped for about 10 minutes right before the stop i was going to get off at. "Waiting for signals ahead". This would normally not be that much of a problem, but I had cut my time for the train close. Once the train DID move again, I got off, ran to the metra station, and got in - just in time to see the Geneva train switch from boarding to departing.

I still made it onto the next train, the 6:40 one, and made it home in time to get out to work only 3 minutes late.

Thursday made me the happiest guy in the world. The memories and the feelings are not ones I'll soon forget, and I wouldn't give them up for the world.

I love you, Jessica. Through and through.

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  • candy

    At our old house, we always ran out of candy, so I live in perpetual fear of it. At this house, we were totally ghost town one year, and we ran out…

  • Projects

    Overall, I have a handful of projects I'm working on. - Livestream Alerts: Website for generating alerts during Livestreams. Most recent work:…

  • sigh, humans

    For the last 36 hours, I have been unreasonably upset by the simplest, stupidest things that people do. Why can't people just be more smart and less…