Wednesday, January 13, 2010


My wife and I take the Metra train into the 'jaws of the beast' known as Chicago. We exit track #1 at the Ogelsby station. People are moving way too fast for my liking. Don't they know it's Sunday? It's supposed to be a day of rest! I fear they are going to knock me down. I should have brought my damn cane, for support. An added plus is that it makes a good weapon. There are cold, sixty-mile-an-hour winds today. They cut through my wife and I like a knife. What we planned as a fun trip, turns into a day of strife and pain. Chicago smells like shit. The sanitary sewers are leaking badly. Potholes are all over the streets. Bridges are falling apart. Instead of attending to infrastructure repairs, transportation needs, and overtaxed residents, the mayor is entertaining the International Olympic Committee. So much for government that works for the people. Real estate is high. Spirits are low. People are angry. Let's go to the show!
The senior citizen's reduced rate ticket is $9.50 at the AMC movie-megaplex. This isn't a reduced rate for me and my wife. Who do they think they're foolin'? I remember the prices of the so-called 'good old days', but then I decide to forget. The city of Chicago never smelled like shit when I was in my prime, many moons ago. I remember riding the street cars for a dime. When I was young, I liked to move fast. I ran down the city streets...looking for 'ass'. I smelled hotdogs and caramel corn, back in the day. The dead meat from the stockyards, was only a wind gust away.
The slaughter houses are gone...factories too...We make no products...flip a burger or two. No steel is produced...few industries left...The stock market is plummeting, I think I smell death...and the shit from the broken sanitary sewers of Chicago. Don't they know it's Sunday?
Back to track #1, for it's time to go home. What once way a joy, I do with a groan. Finally home, I fall in my chair...a Vicodin...a snack...a narcotic prayer...Ahhhh! After all, it's Sunday.

*** from "Chicago Stories And Other Thoughts From a Working Class Guy", available on

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