Out for a short run this morning—they’re all short now, and slow, as I struggle to clear the remaining damage from my lungs—I was coming up Forest. As I crossed the old CSX line near Augusta, I looked to my left and saw a fascinating standoff: a man about my age (they all are, around here), dressed in workout clothes of colors and materials that simply are not found in the natural universe, stood about fifteen feet from a well-fed yearling doe. They were staring at each other, parallel to the rusting rails, neither moving nor making a sound. I stopped to watch the unchanging scene for at least a minute. I couldn’t help but wonder what each was thinking about the interloper before them.
WXRT is doing their Saturday Morning Flashback to 1988 this morning. I left Whole Foods with my two bundles of Fair Trade™ flowers for the family dancers’ recital today. (How do the non-union workers there feel about those flowers and other such branding at that franchise, do you think?) I got into my car and heard “Under The Milky Way” by The Church. It was a little jarring, as I was still shaking off the hangover of a lingering, confusing dream from last night featuring someone who loved that band very dearly. wish I knew what you were looking for / might have known what you would find
As I pulled out of my parking space, an enormous pickup truck made a too-wide turn into the aisle, and we were positionally deadlocked. I made my assumptions about the driver of such a vehicle, and understood the basic physics of our relative sizes, and so shifted back into drive to pull back into my space to let him pass. To my shock, it was he who was already backing out onto the main. As I passed him, I raised my coffee cup. He waved back.
Patti Smith’s “People Have The Power.” That aging hippie/boomer anthem didn’t hold up so well, did it. I cut over to my phone for a minute, or actually seven-and-a-half minutes, for “Tuesday’s Gone.” I’m riding my blues babe / tryin’ to ride my blues
Eastbound from the pool supply store, I observed the line at the weekly food bank at a Melrose Park church. It was much shorter than it had been during the early part of the pandemic. So that’s good, I guess. Googling them just now, I see they only serve their local area, and ask for proof of address. My first thought was, well, I’m no theologist, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how Jesus did it. My second thought was to give them space, for this was surely out of pure necessity, especially born out of the sudden and unprecedented disaster of 2020. My third thought was after I glanced at the $22 container of chlorine stabilizer on the passenger seat: I have no room to talk, or even to think, for that matter.
Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” was up. They name-checked Mussolini, Gandhi, Stalin, and Kennedy; they sampled Malcolm X, Kennedy, and FDR. There’s no way they could have known how that song would hold up 35 years later, is there? If anything, the surprise would be that they understated the case.
The car wash was out of order, another victim of entropy as it all must be, so the last leg of the journey was past the country club on the way home. They recently cleared a few acres of wooded land on the west end of their property, visible from Thatcher. I wondered if they were expanding the driving range or rerouting the course. Hell, maybe putting in a polo ground, I don’t know what those people do. It’s obvious now, though. It’s a parking lot. Where there had been a thick stand of oak, ash, and hackberry, now fresh, black asphalt sits, ready for striping, and soon to follow, a tidy array of six-figure cars.
Back across North Avenue. I never cared much for his surrealist ways, but Robyn Hitchcock’s “Balloon Man” was apt. and it rains like a slow divorce