Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Completely Random Chicago Story

For about half of the 1980s, I lived in Chicago, and on the whole, I really loved it. The traffic could be hell and the winters were frigid, but it was rarely dull. Before getting married and moving to Des Plaines, a northwestern suburb, I shared an apartment with my friend Bill Gudmundson in Logan Square, on the near northwest side of the city, in an aging, three-flat building on Kedzie Avenue. One night — or I should say morning, as it was about 3:00 AM — I woke from a sound sleep to serious hollering from somewhere outside. I went to the window and saw, pretty far down Kedzie, a white dude in a tuxedo stomping up the road in the direction of my apartment. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, "You all eat shit! Every last one of you! You all eat shit! This would never have happened to me in Cleveland! You all eat shit!"

I didn't quite know what to make of this, and in my neighborhood, a lone Caucasian dude issuing insults at an insensitive volume might find his troubles compounded. So, after a bit, I yelled out the window, "Hey! Shut the hell up!"

"Hey, you eat shit!" came the response.

The dude kept walking and hollering, and after a while, he wandered out of sight and out of earshot. I went on back to bed.

I've always kind of hoped he made it back to Cleveland and that it proved to be a happier place. As for me, I ate no shit but gave folks aplenty.

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