Maybe we can meet in the pedestrian tunnel. Credit: cottonbro from <a href="">Pexels</a>

Something occurred to me as I was making plans to see a friend this week. In a pre COVID-19 Chicago, some of us would miss out on events because the venue was “just too far away.” It’s a sad truth that there are many situations in which getting from point A to point B might be a quick trip by car, but it takes an hour via bus or train. I can personally attest to this with my commute from my home at the eastern edge of Back of the Yards to the Reader offices on the north end of Bronzeville. It’s literally a 15-minute door-to-door drive, but 40 minutes at the quickest by CTA bus. While I’m a public transportation devotee, it’s still weird to have a system where, many times, your quickest route means going up or down to the Loop just to grab a bus that’s actually going in your direction.

The unfortunate result of this is that many people use the far-away excuse as a reason to retreat from personal relationships. I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I’ve dated people who didn’t end up being worth the trek from my south-side house to their north-side apartment (“are they . . . transfer-worthy?”) but my last long-term relationship started with almost two years of long-distance dating between two cities in two different time zones. I posted this to my Twitter a few days ago:

You would have thought I tweeted the cure for cancer or something. Never seen so many of you respond with so much gusto, either for or against the idea of someone being “Geographically Desirable” (a tip of the hat to previous Reader contributor Ted Cox for bringing that up). But before I could deliver a long ranty thread about the implications of what socialization could evolve into because of this pandemic, my fellow Chicagoans brought me back to this sweet, sweet earth with their personal tales of crosstown romance gone right. Several of you posted photos of you and your sweethearts along with little details about how far you had to travel to keep up your love. Inspired again by another past Reader contributor’s response (thanks Ted McClelland!), I wrote some terrible poetry in honor of your long-distance love. Humans, you’ll always find a way to be cute.

Look at and listen:

Virtual events coming up: