#242: Cold Red

November 13th, 2013

In the cold, under certain bright streetlamps, the world looks black and white.

This visual effect only happens sometimes, where the air is crisp and cold and the lights glare, not your normal streetlamp haze, but the blaring white beams that turn up the contrast on the city and the sky.

A little snow helps the black and white effect along, a dusting on the ground and maybe a waft or two blowing through the air.

White glimmers under streetlights.

These particular glimmers were wafting by the Loyola Red Line stop in Rogers Park. The bits of snow swirled in a paved area by the bike racks, between a half-finished building and the raised platform for the train tracks before settling at the feet of the two young men at the card table full of communist literature.

The tall, chubby Asian one lingered in the back a bit, hands plunged deep in the pockets of his leather biker jacket.

The skinny white one with the red and white stocking cap and Clark Kent-y half horn rims was the one out in front, smiling and joking and pressing fliers into each gloved hand that would take one.

“I found Waldo,” I thought. “And he’s a commie.”

The red and white hat and Kent-y hipster glasses sat atop a pleasant, pale face with expressive, caring eyes. His neck was wrapped in a maroon and gold scarf that signified either Loyola or Hogwarts. It was tucked into his own leather biker jacket.

A moment for tenants rights. A moment and a flier to fight landlords, fight gentrification, to stop harassment, underpaid maintenance staff, to gather at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Willye B. White Community Center at 1610 W. Howard Ave. for a forum on same. A moment, please. Won’t you take a flier?

I’ve never liked commies. Too preachy and dull. More like a shouty bore at a party than a totalitarian Red menace. Yes, everything you say is a problem is a problem. No, nothing you say is a solution is a solution.

Under streetlamps and snow, under a cold black-and-white night, two young fools tried to save the world.

Good luck.

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