#538: Lavender and a Side of Mistreatment

October 5th, 2015 § permalink

“That’s got to be her parents,” I said.

“I don’t know,” my date responded, pronouncing the “know” to imply skepticism over uncertainty.

“It’s got to be,” I said.

We were sitting along the Riverwalk, enjoying a glass of wine before a play. The cold hadn’t snapped yet, and amid the orange-pink sunset, we decided the lapping of the river on Rahm’s manmade shore would be the perfect start to the evening.

Orange-pink sky. A glass of red for me, white for her. Lapping green water. And lavender.

The lavender hair of the waitress getting her head scratched by the male half of an exceptionally drunk middle-aged couple. » Read the rest of this entry «

#537: They All the Way Around

October 2nd, 2015 § permalink

I think this project makes more sense if you know it’s coming from a depressive who refuses to take medication.

Yes, maybe my life would be better if I had followed the experts who have told me that even my relatively mild flights of fancy and lows are mistakes of personality that should be drugged and ℞-ed away.

But I wouldn’t be me, would I? And I like me. I’m nice. » Read the rest of this entry «

#536: 7 Days a Week

September 30th, 2015 § permalink

The Frisbee haunts me. » Read the rest of this entry «

#535: The Daylight Artists

September 28th, 2015 § permalink

He stood on a rock in the little trickling creek, can of spray paint in hand.

He cocked his head slightly, looking at the work before him. It was a half-filled, gothic-style, yellow, lower-case b, the latest level of glitzy glam glowy graffiti beneath a railroad bridge turned trail in the woods of Gompers Park.

He leaned forward past the point where he could stand on his own. Planting his paint-smeared Chuck Taylors firmly on the rock jutting out from the little creek, he fell forward. This was the plan. He hit the wall, holding himself hypotenuse to the right triangle of underpass and water with his left hand.

Holding himself against the wall, he gently gently gently shaded back and forth, back and forth with the spray can, yellowing the innards of the half-filled b. » Read the rest of this entry «

#534: Error on the Play

September 25th, 2015 § permalink

Ring ring.


“Hi… We’re still friends, right?”


“The tickets were for last night’s game.”

Loud laughter. » Read the rest of this entry «

#533: Five Things Seen at Retro Chicago Vintage Garage and Their Purpose

September 23rd, 2015 § permalink

Every month, a parking garage in Uptown is turned into a cavalcade of old.

It’s called Vintage Garage and it’s wonderful. Amazing clothes, books, vinyl, dishware, photos, machinery, furniture — everything the lover of the old can want. The Sept. 20 market was themed “Retro Chicago.”

I’m gushing over the flea market now because I’m going to make fun of it. » Read the rest of this entry «

#532: Where’s the One-Armed Gibbon?

September 21st, 2015 § permalink

In the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Helen Brach Primate House, he used to fling himself from artificial branch to artificial branch with one long, lone arm.

Covered in black fur with white tufts springing from his happy, alert face, the gibbon would hurl himself through the air with the same arm he would catch himself with split-moments later. Fling, catch, fling, catch, fling, catch, stop, eat something using his foot, fling, fling, catch, catch.

His name was Kien Nhan, and in 2005, one of his arms had to be amputated. » Read the rest of this entry «

#531: Paul Dailing’s “City on the Make”

September 18th, 2015 § permalink

The song of summer 2015 was the theme from “The Munsters.”

I mean, not literally of course. It was actually Chicago-area band Fall Out Boy’s hit “Uma Thurman,” which has been following me around in stores, over radios, online, in the Logan Square arcade where a friend and I played video games as retro and backward-looking as the pop track itself.

Thirteen seconds of Pete Wentz yelling and then, there you go, the theme to “The Munsters”

The 1960s monster sitcom’s inclusion in this 2015 pop song is called sampling. That’s when musicians include pieces of other people’s works in their works, or as I once wrote, “Call me Ishmael.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#530: The Little Red Wagon

September 16th, 2015 § permalink

She was a middle-aged woman with gray-blonde hair pulled back in a functional ponytail. She gave off an aura of likability from behind her yellow safety vest.

Her smile was weary — I got the sense it had been one of many long days in a row — but it was genuine as well. I recalled a line from Roald Dahl about only trusting people whose smiles went all the way to the eyes.

And she towed a little red Radio Flyer wagon behind her. I liked that too. » Read the rest of this entry «

#529: Jolanda, The Slowest Fucking Turtle in the World

September 14th, 2015 § permalink

He looked out on the crowd, the howling, screaming, hooting wonder pounding beers and clustering with pitchers and mugs around the shallow, topless plywood box covering the pool table for a night.

Someone handed him a ping-pong ball. He read off it.

“Number 5! Jolanda!” the man shouted into the mic. “And we all know what Jolanda is!”

“The slowest! Fucking! Turtle! In the world!” the crowd screamed back as one. » Read the rest of this entry «

  • Get stories by email