#582: History in the Dumpster

January 15th, 2016 § permalink

The box sat on top of the heap of garbage. It was fresh, dry and new, recently deposited in a dumpster in a streetlamp-lit winter alley in a brick-lined residential strip of North Center.

It was a history teacher’s box of history. » Read the rest of this entry «

#496: A Whole New Deal

June 29th, 2015 § permalink

The little old lady with the walker, gray Bears sweatshirt and small golden cross stood in front of a house drawn by an untalented child. » Read the rest of this entry «

#450: Micro Views

March 13th, 2015 § permalink

He was tall, six foot five at the low end, and angry. » Read the rest of this entry «

#448: Pompon Circumstance

March 9th, 2015 § permalink

The bus pulled up and I got on, my little skirt waving in the wind. » 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 «

#288: Swallowed by Black

February 28th, 2014 § permalink

Another night, another ‘L’ stop. People huddled under the three heat lamps like so many fast food chicken sandwiches. A few more huddled by the entrance to the platform, hoping the grate stairwell blocks the licking wind. » Read the rest of this entry «

#285: The Biggest Lie in Chicago

February 21st, 2014 § permalink

Last week, I auditioned for the 25th Annual Chicago’s Biggest Liar Contest. I didn’t make it (alas), but I still had a great time and everyone should go see the show on May 3.

But, since I didn’t make it, that frees me up to share my amazing lie, which involves local commercials, ferns, the phrase “super-glottal” and the village of Stickney, Ill. » Read the rest of this entry «

#282: The Biggest Liar in Chicago

February 14th, 2014 § permalink

I leaned back on the love seat, hands behind my head, stretching a bit and closing my eyes to focus on the Elvis playing softly overhead. By the second-floor bar, under whiskey barrel decorations, hurling clubs and other Irishana, a waitress standing by a plate of cheese fiddled with her phone as I prepared to tell two people that I met Batman. » Read the rest of this entry «

#227: Survival of the Fitness

October 9th, 2013 § permalink

In a row of bright pastel synthetic tank tops over black stretch pants, they fell forward on one knee.

They didn’t fall in unison, of course. Down the length of the city block on a ritz-nice strip of North Center, in 10- to 15-foot increments save a few who stood side by side as they chatted and toppled, the women rose and fell in their own Roman Empires each on a different schedule. » Read the rest of this entry «

#201: Table Turned

August 9th, 2013 § permalink

The apartment isn’t old, really. It’s no older than any other of the Chicago-style two-flats lining this little residential slip just a hair east of Western.

But it is old, teeming with history. The family has lived there 90 years, Arden Joy says. Her mother lives there now, she says as she walks you past the vintage typewriter at the top of the stairwell. Her grandmother lives on the first floor. » Read the rest of this entry «

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