It was the first time I'd been to Chicago, but I've been the center of Delaware and Baltimore before. I was a wolf among the fold, an atom bomb detonated in a Grand Canyon full of soap bubbles frozen in liquid nitrogen. I know, that doesn't work, the bubbles pop before you can freeze them, but I don't care, I was there and that was the feeling, almost exactly.

Every taxi that passed me caused another one, blocks away, to slingshot by in the other direction, perfectly preserving the city's momentum--I don't know how I know this, but I do. Every painting and sculpture in the Art Institute of Chicago was staring at me as I passed--even the wall-sized canvas covered in nothing but black--but they didn't dare meet my gaze. The pigeons listened to me when I whispered the word "fly," and swarmed around my head like a dirty halo.

I slipped through the crowds on the street like a katana through a silk scarf. I made electric eye contact with every person I saw, and breathing the cold air recharged me like some walking lightning rod. I saw a man wearing a sandwich board that said REAL WAR: Civilization Threatened!!, and I talked to him, and he may have been right, but I was never in any danger. I squinted my eyes, bared my teeth, and flexed every muscle in my upper body, half-expecting the city to bend around me like The Matrix around Neo. I let my eyes drift out of focus like you do when you're staring at a stereograph, and the crowds of people resolved into two blurry masses with a long, narrow aisle winding down the center for me to walk through.

For almost 24 hours, I felt dangerous, alive, plugged in, high voltage and high current, intensely aware of every little sensation, spotlit, and, well... like I was Chicago's center of gravity, and everyone and everything in the city swirled around me like a wrecking ball spinning on top of a tiny blue diamond.


...and I have no idea why, and when I think too much about it, it makes me feel scared and small.

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