#427: The Vein

January 19th, 2015 § permalink

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

- Ernest Hemingway

Many years ago, a woman I was dating told me I talk all the time, but don’t say anything. » Read the rest of this entry «

#371: Catch and Release

September 10th, 2014 § permalink

It’s a car wash at the north end of Lincoln Square.

Damen is about to curve around the cemetery a hair to the north.

It’s dark and a man is whapping a floor mat against the brick base around an industrial vacuum. A dozen feet away, a woman is next to their car, leaning against the brick base around another industrial vacuum for people to clean their own cars. » Read the rest of this entry «

#357: Three Cases from the Mystery Book

August 8th, 2014 § permalink

The book was mid-level old. Yellowing paper and intermittent water stains from a less than cautious past library patron. The cover was wearing, the spine shifting back and forth, back and forth in my hand.

It was a scuffed brick-red, featureless but for some printing on that shifting spine in what was once gold, aged over time to brass.

“Cream of the Crime,” the spine read. “Mystery Writers of America Anthology.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#295: Ravenswood Used Books and the Fortune Cookies

March 17th, 2014 § permalink

If a smoke-belching factory symbolizes the 19th century and the car represents the 20th century, the empty storefront should be the logo, sigil and calling card of the 21st century. » Read the rest of this entry «

#268: Clear Nail Polish

January 13th, 2014 § permalink

The girlfriend has metal allergies, that’s important to know.

It’s important to know because some cheap silver and zircon knickknackery like the bit I had in my pocket could cause her to break out in an itchy rash. The skin turns green, she has to scratch, the whole caboodle. But she wanted a particular bit of costume jewelry and told me not to go above $50 because we had better things to spend our money on.

I hoped my girlfriend would like it. » Read the rest of this entry «

#214: The Auctioneer

September 9th, 2013 § permalink

“Mind if I take a picture of you for a Polish newspaper? You have the most amazing mustache. The Germans don’t have handlebar mustaches and they should. You would think they would have handlebar mustaches, but they don’t. You have the most amazing mustache and I would love to take a picture of it for my Polish newspaper.”

He was thin and short with close-cropped black hair and a bit of peach fuzz whisker on his lip. He had a camera dangling around a gangly neck. He never so much smiled as pulled back his lips to show more tooth. » Read the rest of this entry «

#95: Banjo Battles and the Uke-clear Explosion

December 5th, 2012 § permalink

The slender bearded white man on the sales floor didn’t even have to check with the slender bearded white man behind the counter or any of the slender bearded white men in the halls of the Old Town School of Folk Music — it’s still banjos. » Read the rest of this entry «

#93: Unacceptable Behavior at O’Lanagan’s

November 30th, 2012 § permalink

Carol put on the Scissor Sisters and danced.

She danced right behind the bar, shimmying and shaking and explaining that a lot of people confuse Scissor Sisters songs with KC and the Sunshine Band because they sing alike, can you hear it?

“Yeah, I can hear that,” I said. » Read the rest of this entry «

#58: Stripes and Solids and Barack Obama

September 10th, 2012 § permalink

The politicos came for the Facebook invite to watch Obama’s 2009 State of the Union on an 81-inch screen.

The sportsmen came for the first of what pledged to be a friendly monthly pool tournament.

The Rat and I came for Hamisons. » Read the rest of this entry «

#51: Christ Must Dance

August 24th, 2012 § permalink

“I went to Catholic church growing up and it was, like, the same thing every week,” the trim woman in the workout clothes said.

“Right,” her friend continued. » Read the rest of this entry «

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