Like swallows to Capistrano, like Monarch butterflies to Oaxaca, the boobs have returned to Wicker Park.
Where have you been, old friends? Which sweaters or heavy coats were your migratory locales? Did you winter in Eddie Bauer, in North Face?
It doesn’t matter, for now you are back you lovely, lovely boobs.
All manner of boobs flocked to Division that first warm Friday in May. There were small ones as pert as the summer dawn, pendulous ones as thick and tempting as the low-hanging fruit of business jargon. There were pointy ones, round ones, mismatched ones, ones silhouetted by tight Ts, ones blared openly from strappy tops. There were freckled ones and plain ones and peacock-tailed ones meticulously tattooed into the “Grandma, what did that blotch used to be?” of the 2060s.
If they jiggled and were attached to someone who will be living in Naperville in 10 years, they returned to Wicker Park that first warm day.
Now the honest practitioner of the journalistic arts will not hide the traif among the kasher. He or she will address and even highlight the unclean and unholy.
There are some boobs that should have stayed hidden, that — like Mr. Rochester’s first wife or Ke$ha — should be locked away from human sight for the betterment of all.
I am speaking, of course, of my boobs.
These are boobs formed not by genetics and matching Xs, but by a slothful winter of “I’ll swim tomorrow,” “Better take the car” and “Hell with it. I will have that cheesesteak.” They and their brothers across The City That Works But Doesn’t Work Out were winter-ripened until they became as juicy, lush and firm as a fresh-picked kiwi, and just as hairy.
I do not deny the corrosive effect of “the male gaze,” nor do I feel admitting my Irish-Jew ass better get back to the gym rectifies any moral transgression I might have committed by ogling the ladies of Wicker Park.
By my gaze upon the boob is one of love, not of oppression. It’s the look one gives the Pieta or a Botticelli Venus.
I welcome you back, boobs of Wicker Park, as I welcome back boobs all across Chicago. I kill the fatted calf in celebration for thee, my returning, prodigal and very very jiggly.
Written in May 2012, at a time when I was, surprisingly, single