OK, so I do some maundering here, but I'm getting there.
Nothing From Nothing
Thanksgiving week arrived and I was feeling good. I had finished my big paper for the term that was due on Wednesday, I did well on a Microeconomics exam that I had on Monday, and Tuesday night was the cafeteria's big Thanksgiving meal. Well, two out of three ain't bad. Still, what was good was being together with my floormates one last time before the holiday. You get to know people pretty well when you live close to them and have to use the same bathroom as they do. Needless to say, we couldn't discuss something more uplifting than some of the more disgusting dissections that some of the pre-med guys on the floor had had to do in Biology class, but that's what happens when you're a college guy, and the main thing was that we were all together.
We did have a reasonably interesting discussion over dessert about Legionnaire's disease, which had made its first appearance over the summer at a convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia. One of the professors at Loyola was among the many scientists and researchers who were trying to figure out exactly what had happened to make the victims of the disease so sick in such a short amount of time. Eddie had a theory. Eddie always had a theory.
"I'll bet it was Idi Amin that caused it," he stated with some authority.
"Idi Amin?" I must have looked confused.
"Yeah, you know, that guy in Libya..."
"That's not Idi Amin," one of the other guys said. "That's Moammar Khadafi. Idi Amin is the guy in Uganda."
"Yeah, whatever. One of those guys. I'll bet one of them is involved with it."
"How do you figure?" Now I was interested.
"Well, you know, they hate everybody in the world, especially us. Maybe they're trying to figure out a way to kill us off, and they decided that they'd try something new out there. You know, germ warfare."
"Why would they do it at a hotel in Pennsylvania?" someone else asked.
"That's easy. It was the American Legion. Those guys are veterans. Maybe they were trying to send a message or something."
"OK," I said. "So, what's next, are they going to try to do it in New York or something?"
"Maybe. Maybe they go to a big hotel in New York and do it there. Or maybe they do something here in Chicago, maybe let it loose in the subway or something."
"Gee, thanks, Eddie. I ride that subway every day."
"So? You could take the bus, right?"
"That's true." Now I was wondering if I should. "OK, so let's just say for the sake of argument that's what Khadafi is doing."
"Well, I mean, not him personally."
"Yeah, I know. Someone working for him. How would he get the stuff over here?"
"He wouldn't have to. He'd have guys here making the stuff and transporting it around."
"You mean, they'd have a lab or something, and they'd be brewing this stuff up there."
"Yeah! They'd make it close to where they were going to let it out, and then they wouldn't have as far to carry it."
"I see." I really didn't want to talk about it anymore. "You guys want some coffee?"
The next morning, I crossed Sheridan Road to go to the train station, and stopped. What if Eddie was right? I could see the 146 bus coming, which passed right in front of the Water Tower, and decided to try it out. I managed to get a seat in the back of the bus, and there was plenty of room for my small bag of stuff that I was bringing home for the holiday. I had a suit at home that I could wear to work over the weekend, and really, who cared if I wore the same suit three days in a row? Certainly not my manager.
The bus ride took a little bit longer than the train ride, especially at the point where Lake Shore Drive ran into Michigan Avenue and traffic came to a dead halt. I decided at some point to get off at the first stop after the junction and walk the rest of the way. It was a few blocks, but I had time, and it was a pretty nice day outside.
I walked past the Hancock Center and stopped for a minute to watch the people walk in and out of the building. I didn't think that I'd see Rosalie there, but somehow I still had to look. I had to admit, I was feeling a little bit upset at the way that things had gone between us. I mean, I had something better going with Kate, I knew that, but still, I had been hoping that things would have been a little more...I didn't know what I was thinking. As far as the world was concerned, Rosalie Jakubauskas didn't exist. Detective Johnson had said that there was no one living in her apartment, and I had pretty well given up on the idea that she worked for the Police Department. I checked my watch and saw that I only had a few minutes to get to class, so I turned and walked quickly toward the Water Tower, thinking about her.