The Wrigley Building


The Wrigley building gazes at the water taxi as it docks. It watches with indifference as all of the morning commuters disembark and trundle their way up Rush St. toward work. Approaching the Wrigley building, I look up and nod at its bright, white, facade but it never acknowledges me. I get the feeling that it's trying to stifle a snicker and will burst out laughing as soon as I pass by.

The Wrigley building is the first of many buildings that piss me off on my way to work every morning.

Like the Wrigley, most of the buildings I pass were here long before I was born and will be here long after I'm gone. Walking through the canyons of downtown Chicago, I sometimes wonder if anyone else looks at them the same way I do. We are constantly darting between them, like busy little worker ants performing very important tasks, because of course everything we are doing is of the utmost importance. I envision the old buildings who have seen it all before, watching and chuckling politely to themselves.

I think myopia is the conceit of every generation. In our generation nearly everything we do is critical, which is why we have Fed Ex, email and cell phones. All of our urgent communication must get through right now! Still, most of what we do fades pretty quickly and is ultimately forgotten.

That's why I think buildings laugh at us. "Yes," they say, "What you are doing is all very important. That's exactly what the ones before you thought."

Although the vast majority of what we do ends up as flotsam, a tiny percentage of it does endure. In fact a study showed that exactly 1.7% of what we do is actually important.

That's not true.

I just made that up.

I imagine the founding fathers with their powdered wigs and knee britches debating, struggling and even dying over issues of dire importance. I wonder if they could have imagined their struggles giving way to a culture of emoticons, designer jeans and gym shoes.

I bet the Wrigley Building thinks it's all hilarious.

F*ck you Wrigley Building.


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