The Oasis

Yesterday morning, your new scale’s digital display read 133. 

Yesterday evening—after the brats, the burgers, the chips, all that beer, the brownies, the cookies, and the cupcakes at the BBQ; then after the Krispy Kreme doughnuts and the Bresler's chocolate malt at the O'Hare Oasis—after all that, the scale’s display read 138. 

Whilst standing at one of the oasis’s two walls of glass—tall and wide enough to frame a Boeing 747, nose to tail*—you slurp your shake and watch the various city and suburban bursts and showers of fireworks. And, sappy you, what you couldn’t get out of your head was: Which display was she standing beneath? And you wished she wondered which one you stood beneath. But you’re fairly certain she wasn’t thinking of you at all. You’re fairly certain you couldn’t be further from her mind. 

The O'Hare Oasis stretches over the Tri-State Tollway. Think of it as an enclosed pedestrian bridge with a food court.§ Giant panes of glass fit together to make up the north and south walls. Individually, they’re larger than your average garage door. These panes continuously quiver from the endless rush of traffic below. 

Start at either the north or the south wall, run fast enough, and you could easily smash through any of the individual panes. Or so it seems. Burst through one of these panes, and you’ll still have a leap’s worth of concrete ledge to go, and then the hindrance of a steel guard rail. After that, though, you’re home free. 

Only, you’re with Ma and Stepdude. And you’d hate to ruin the current familial joviality. 

This morning, just like your old high school wrestling coach promised, the scale subtracted a pound. That’s what everyone loses over a night’s sleep. A pound, at the least. Tomorrow, you’ll hit the weights and the treadmill—particularly the treadmill—with a vengeance. By the end of the week, you’ll be back to your ole 131.5 miserable self again. Surely girls’ll stare at gaunt you, ‘cause they never stared at chubby you. 

4 July 2005 

*[07/10/22: A slight exaggeration, and not the only one.] 

[7/10/22: I couldn’t tell you her name. I’ve pined after so many.] 

[7/10/22: At midnight on 4 September 2018, the O’Hare Oasis closed forever. It was ripped out to widen the tollway.] 

§[07/10/22: If memory serves, it was mostly a food court, but not entirely a food court.] 

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