The Wacker and Wabash intersection is my favorite and least favorite in Chicago. I spent 3 years crossing it twice a day to get to work. I went through a variety of mindsets while crossing this intersection. It’s seen me transition and change in a way nothing else has.
It’s seen me have:
Crossing it to interview for my first real job after graduating college. The sun hits the Optima Chicago Center building just right it’s like heaven is striking you in the face with its rays.
Rushing to not get hit as the monotony of work life settled in. The sky cloudy and the pavement damp, as I hurry across the two streets you must cross to get to the other side.
Walking as slow as possible while contemplating what it’d be like to be hit while in the midst of a depressive episode. Everything looks gray, from the changing lights to the passing cars. Even the taxi’s honking feels muted and somehow too loud.
Practically skipping across with grand plans of how I’m going to turn my life around during a hypomanic episode. The sun is bright and hot making all the colors more intense. The trees on the northside of the intersection an intense shade of green.
Strolling through with a sense of inner peace I couldn’t ever remember having. Everything finally looks at it should. Nothing is distorted but the beauty is still there and all the better for how real it is.
This intersection has seen all parts of me. It watched me go from bouts of mild depression to severe. It saw my hypomanic states. My disgruntled ones. It took them all in stride. Every time I see that intersection it makes me contemplate the various stages of life. I question my mortality when I walk through it. It’s beautiful and deadly.