Monday, February 19, 2007

Saturday Night, An Elevated Hell

Saturday night is a different story than what you see from above. I went to the north side to look for the new T. Jefferson Parker novel, trying to keep certain things from my mind, one of them being that I'd be incommunicado with a good friend of mine for a few days. Always a dame, right, Indelli? (A line from one of my Jonny Algiers stories.) But by the time I got back downtown it was dark, and men were marking their territory on the steam vents, one which is barely visible behind the bus at the Chicago Theater. I came up the subway steps to go to the elevated Orange Line, still thinking and in all reality attempting to forget the -10 wind chill. I locked eyes with a man pacing on the steam vent across from the theater, we both looked away, each of us perhaps trying to find a grain of spirituality before returning to the cold reality of the night. In more ways than one. I gave him a fiver and climbed the wooden stairs to the platform two stories above.