#351: Revealing Words

July 25th, 2014 § permalink

I used to approach bookstores like married men approach strip clubs. » Read the rest of this entry «

#350: Pilsen at Night

July 23rd, 2014 § permalink

The children played in the stream of a cracked-open fire hydrant.

They rushed up to fill plastic bowls and extra-large McDonald’s beverage cups. Sometimes they rushed the water back to an inflatable kiddie pool a few blocks down. Sometimes they took long gulps of crystalline water that may or may not have been treated for disease.

Pilsen was hot. » Read the rest of this entry «

#349: Dallas and the Banjo

July 21st, 2014 § permalink

“You’re coming from Pitchfork, I assume,” he said as he leaned forward on his banjo. » Read the rest of this entry «

#348: Green

July 18th, 2014 § permalink

I haven’t been very good lately.

I’ve been good about going to work and coming from work and riding my bike and taking my lunch and talking about my feelings and making the bed and doing the laundry and arranging the July 26 reading at the MCA and using the blog to promote the July 26 reading at the MCA and brushing my teeth and keeping up on the dishes and cooking once in a while and running this weekly playlist thing with my friends and no missed stories 348 in and I got out to visit my folks and I bought myself some new undershirts and a couple button-ups and I’ve been shaving at least two or three times a week.

But I’ve had Chinese soup containers of frozen compost in the freezer for months. » Read the rest of this entry «

#347: The Man Without a Neighborhood

July 16th, 2014 § permalink

It starts like this:

A couple. New place. A search for a new corner bar. A Stephen King-ish discovery on the level of a “pet sematary” out back or that you are the caretaker, have always been the caretaker.

“Hey, babe? Google Maps says we’re not in East Ukrainian Village after all.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#346: Pillars

July 14th, 2014 § permalink

The beggar sat beneath the overpass, next to one of the pillars that supported the highway above, and counted his take into a plastic McDonald’s cup. » Read the rest of this entry «

#345: Why I Was the Real Winner of the 2014 Superman-Hulk Debates Against the Chicago Teachers Union President

July 11th, 2014 § permalink

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is not waiting for Superman.

I write this post with nothing but respect and admiration for Karen Lewis. She has proved herself a valiant leader and a powerful voice on behalf of our city’s educators. She is a proven agent of change in a city and in a school district that certainly needs all it can get.

But as I found out Wednesday night on Twitter, she doesn’t know crap about the Incredible Hulk. » Read the rest of this entry «

#344: The Most Sarcastic Child in Chicago Watches a Clown Show

July 9th, 2014 § permalink

The children chased a line of balloons the young clown wafted behind him.

Red, white, red, white, the balloons alternated down the chain. The children laughed and shrieked and tried to hold on as the young man in greasepaint ran them through the crowd.

The sun started its slow descent over the boathouse to the west, glistening and glimmering off the lagoon where happy fishermen plied their futile hobby. The spot of grass by house and water was filled with smiling families, laughing children and the sounds of a small live band playing a light and smooth 1920s Puerto Rican jazz.

“Is this that clown thing they were talking about?” came a voice from behind me. » Read the rest of this entry «

#343: The Peace Accord

July 7th, 2014 § permalink

Anyone who’s been in a fight with a significant other knows the code and hears the invisible follows. It’s a language you learn in your 20s and stay fluent in for life.

If someone yells “One day,” you can hear if it’s “One day” (I’ll dump your sorry ass), if it’s “One day” (you’ll realize what we had) or if it’s (I just wanted) “One day” (without having to deal with your shit).

That’s how I knew the way the woman in the black Honda Accord said “Bob” was a bad one. It was burning and resentful, should be underlined, italicized and maybe written in that drippy red blood font from horror movies.

It was “Bob” (you jackass), not “Bob” (the sweetiekins light of my life). » Read the rest of this entry «

#342: High Hops

July 4th, 2014 § permalink

Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” played in the garage.

It wasn’t a garage like on a house for a Civic when your high school son’s terrible punk band isn’t practicing. It was more like a truck loading area for a gray stone building at Monroe and Morgan.

And in this garage with the high doors pulled back to look onto a loading bay full of kegs and plants, shelves and shoppers. » Read the rest of this entry «

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