The worst of last winter found us in the first-floor unit of an extremely undistinguished graystone, somewhere near the elbow of Independence Boulevard. Often I went outside and looked it over wondering what Red had ever seen in it. From a distance it looked like an antique refrigerator; from up close it looked like contractors had practiced on it. In the soggy alley one of the windows was shivered; someone had lined it with a cheap terrycloth blanket that was covered with Ayanami Rei in a series of provocative poses. When I took out the trash I was subject to her bored gaze, while her colors bled eerily across the white space.
It was Red who chose our apartments, and sometimes they were hardly to be believed. “I’ve got a system,” she explained once, when I decided to press the issue. “Fascism is a system,” I muttered from the other room. But systems were not her strong suit; had she said it in appeasement? Appeasement was not her strong suit either, which is one reason we got along.
Englewood’s residents would be able to breathe deeply, but not on 57th and Normal.
A road,” the writer Isak Dinesen observed, “is the fixed materialization of human longing, and of the human notion that it is better to be in one place than another.” South Wentworth Road, then, is the fixed materialization of the notion that one should be able to mosey freely between the South Loop and Chinatown. The Red Line obligingly stops at Cermak and Wentworth every few minutes, doing a great service to several thousand longing, notion-ful commuters every day of the year. Continue reading
My friend Red was supposed to meet me the other night at the Auditorium Theatre, but in the end she never showed up, and I had to see Belle and Sebastian by myself. I called her after the opening act, and then again when I left, but she was out of range each time. If it was anybody but Red, I would have been worried.