Minutes (Chicago)

August 10, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

  • Overheard: A couple walked towards Milwaukee Avenue holding hands. Just as they passed through the dog park, underneath the el train trestle, he said, “The trouble with pie is that it could mean anything.” She nodded, paused a moment and then added with some incredulity, speaking quickly as though in the midst of a confession she had managed to restrain hithertofor, “I wouldn’t have a problem with the Pythagorean theorem either, except that it’s so obvious.” After that the train passed over head and I lost track of them.
  • Across the back alley there is an apartment building with three back porches. Three men live on the third floor and at different times they go for runs of varying but short lengths (10-15 minutes) before returning to light the grill. They also, often, play Corn Hole whereupon they invite other men over and the men drink beer together in the back alley, saying little, their company is punctuated by the sounds of flopping bean bags. The third floor never speaks to either of the other stories. The second story consists of an English sheepdog who regularly paces the perimeter of the porch and two young women. They wear soft shimmering dresses, pony tails and often sit with a set of parents (whos I don’t know) on the back porch. They appear in all respects moderate. They might be religious. They seem to keep regular hours. They keep flower boxes on the back rail, full and lush poinsettas, and put up christmas lights on the ceiling of their porch, even though they frequent its bounds the least. The first story is occupied by four girls and a chiauauau(!!!). At various hours of the day these ladies, (perhaps 23?) drink bud light on the porch, smoke skinny cigarettes and talk on their cell phones. In the evening there is are always one or two men, never the same, who appear to be doing chores for the occupants inside. Once I saw an older man in his 4o’s who sat on the porch while the ladies chatted amongst themselves. He seemed most comfortable when he took out the trash. Another time I saw a young man pull up in a Jetta around midnight. He opened the back door and very carefully and quietly took out a series of plants which he then placed, as silently as possible, on the roof of his car before again, very silently, carrying about six potted plants onto the back porch and laying them before the back door. He slipped away into the night. At other times I’ve just seen different fellows on the back porch couch. Those fellows, while not doing anything in particular, will wait for hours until one or another of the girls from inside comes out to say hello. At other times I’ve seen a gentleman starting and tending a grill. In every case there is only one gentleman caller. In every case the woman whom are being called upon appear to ignore their guest, preferring instead to gossip amongst themselves in his presense. Once, I did see one of the fellows from the third floor run into a visitor on the third. In that case, hellos were exchanged.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: