The wind blows in steady from the Lake and claims the space for its own, scouring every inch of the pavements and the cold stony fronts of the building. It presses down between buildings, shouldering them apart in skyey fields of light and air. The air is windpressed into a lens, magnifying and sharpening and silencing—everything is silenced in the uproar of the wind that comes ransacking down out of the North. This is a city where no one dares dispute the claim of the wind and the skyey space to the out-of-doors. This Midwestern sky is the nakedest loneliest sky in America.
This makes me want to stay under covers until maybe June.
When I was going to school at Loyola in the '80s, I found out that Walker Percy had come to campus for a reading a year or two before I started there. I was so mad that I’d missed him that I asked around the English Department to find out if anyone had recorded his appearance. They hadn’t. But one professor told me that Percy had read something about visiting Chicago as a boy to see the World’s Fair. That sounds a lot like Binx’s memory of his first boyhood encounter with the fearful “genie-soul” of the city. I wonder if Percy was about as enthused about traveling to Chicago as Binx is: “Misery misery son of a bitch of all miseries. . .”
I can’t really argue with him.