#367: The Startling Discovery of René Magritte

September 1st, 2014 § permalink

“I believe that I have made an absolutely startling discovery in painting – a new potential inherent in things, their ability to gradually become something else.”

– René Magritte, 1927 » Read the rest of this entry «

#366: Little John’s Unsolved Problem

August 29th, 2014 § permalink

I heard her before I saw her. It was an approaching mumbling from behind as I waited on my bike at Damen and Addison.

The mumbling would break into words – I heard “Your Metra” and “With” at different points. But I didn’t turn around only because I didn’t realize she was talking to me.

Then there she was. » Read the rest of this entry «

#365: Why Write? A Letter to my Nephew

August 27th, 2014 § permalink

This isn’t really a letter to my nephew. It’s going to have swear words in it and a section on what some women find sexy – neither are really pertinent to a 9 year old.

What is pertinent is the amount of writing the fourth grade requires. » Read the rest of this entry «

#364: The Dinner Table

August 25th, 2014 § permalink

The potstickers and fried duck had been devoured, the umbrella drinks guzzled, the fortunes cracked and read aloud. The man with the sandy hair started to tell a story. » Read the rest of this entry «

#363: Dinner in Blonk

August 22nd, 2014 § permalink

Like ghosts they moved across the ‘L’ platform. Spectral figures all in white, from the women’s summer dresses and hats to the men’s perfect ivory slacks and button-ups.

It was a crowd of about 30 to 40, in matching outfits, walking across the northbound train platform, some carrying chairs and large brown baskets.

Of course I sprinted of the southbound train to ask. » Read the rest of this entry «

#362: Uncle Go Paul

August 20th, 2014 § permalink

“Why do you call him Uncle Go Paul? He’s Uncle Paul because his name is Paul and he’s our uncle,” the older said to the younger.

“He’s Uncle Go Paul because we go places with him,” the younger replied.

I was touched. But not enough to get let them get a second thing of candy in the movie line. » Read the rest of this entry «

#361: The Ghost on the Dust Jacket

August 18th, 2014 § permalink

A wide-windowed bookstore lets the light in.

It lets the light shine on the paperbacks and hardcovers, on the genre books and the gimmicky think pieces. It lets the light shine on the copies of post-apocalyptic social satires and on the coming-of-age novelas and on the histories and the historical fictions and on the science-for-laymen and on the celebrity politico bio exposés.

A wide-windowed bookstore suns the books, the natural light making the dust jacket designs and author photos crisp and sharp and lovely.

It must have driven the woman nuts. » Read the rest of this entry «

#360: Grover

August 15th, 2014 § permalink

Grover hates it when they kill themselves.

“You’ve got to have a thick skin,” he said for the third or fourth time. “You’ve got to have thick skin.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#359: The Hecht Papers, Part 2 of 2

August 13th, 2014 § permalink

The Newberry Library’s collections include the personal effects and papers of Ben Hecht, whose 1920s newspaper column “1001 Afternoons in Chicago” inspired this project.

They’ll let you go through them if you get a Newberry Reader’s Card.

So I got one.

Part 1 ran on Monday » Read the rest of this entry «

#358: The Hecht Papers, Part 1 of 2

August 11th, 2014 § permalink

A gray-haired man who looks like Tom Waits took up clean livin’ sat at a table, methodically reviewing what looked to me like original colonial broadsheets.

In the corner, a stereotypical librarian-type from a 1940s comedy – thick glasses, heavy wool skirt and sweater and a tightly braided ponytail down to her ass – stood by her own table. She hovered between three rostra, a wood one for her laptop, a clear one for a heavy index book and a rolled pad-turned-bookstand for a magnificent browned tome.

When she turned around two hours later, I saw she couldn’t be more than 25. » Read the rest of this entry «

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