Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have discovered that my new autumn jacket has no real pockets. It has fake ones—little flaps that portend pockets yet contain naught but an impenetrable stitched seam. I have been mislead. My pants will continue to struggle under weight of wallet, keys and small, electronic devices.

The Cubs are in the playoffs. I will leave it at that because I've been here before, emotionally. I lack the pockets to deal with another handful of disappointment.

I have adopted a philosophical stance on the White Sox this season. (When people say they have taken a philosophical stance on something, it means they've decided to no longer be a dick about it.) Perhaps I am softening in my old age, but I welcome the possibility that the South Siders will end up in the playoffs. I especially like Alexei Ramirez and would gladly subscribe to his newsletter, although I fear my inadequate Spanish may sully its finer points.


A cold front has poked its nose into our business.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I took a long walk near the confluence of Irving Park and the Mighty Chicago on Sunday morning, taking dozens of pictures along the way (which photos I will continue to upload throughout the week ... AND BEYOND!).

My everyday shoes are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Despair.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Here's video of the same set I photographed on Saturday. The guy who made this must have been standing right in front of me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I did not sleep well last night, but no matter. I had no choice but to get out of bed at the preordained hour, soap up my limbs, rinse, dry, dress. Exit into the cool air, the dust of decomposing leaves metallic in the morning sun. My footfalls shatter the spines of autumn twigs, a gratifying crunch.

And now, a brief summary of the weekend in pictures.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It seems I can't welcome autumn—or any other season—without writing about particular climatic aspects that set it apart from its predecessor.

In spring, I write about the rain, the dirty shells of snow shrinking in the afternoon sun as their cold blood trickles along the concrete curbside and into the city's labyrinthine digestive system. The gradual emergence of animal movement, the loosening at the corners of our eyes, unraveling of leaves and petals, a universal sigh.

What of autumn? The temperature more temperate, air fair. The humidity disengages like a Lego brick pulled free by a child and tossed eastward, leaving a clean, bumpy plat free for a white winter piece. The orange brown remnants skitter about in the first mild northers. Exhalations finally visible, a second breath to verify, a top button buttoned, a numb lobe.

The winter block locks into place—the grey noise, icy oxygen burn, daily challenge, the stark beauty.

I cannot not notice it deeply.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Whenever I decide to write fiction after a long layoff, I invariably end up working backward from an idea that has some utility but embarks too abruptly. Often, this results in a few paragraphs of doggerel that's little more than a thread tied to Point B and pulled straight in search of Point A.

The surge became noticeable every Monday of the fall semester at 8 a.m. Desperate, sleep-deprived undergraduates staggered in and fanned out toward whichever nook housed the authoritative materials necessary to complete the assignments due later that morning.

Vivian Section knew the glassy, importuned look a student's eyes would assume upon learning that no, the pebbly reference book holding the key to his future could not be checked out of the library. She also knew well that these were still for the most part emotional children for whom the specter of failure had previously been an abstract reality, something they could bargain their way out of with appeals to their interlocutor's basic human kindness.

For this reason, Vivian became fond of preemptively shrugging her shoulders and repeating the phrase "I wish I could help you, but it's not me. It's the library system."

This is all an attempt to introduce Douglas, who has become desperately stuck inside one of the library's revolving doors due to a sequence of events that escalates too quickly to be the story's beginning and would be much more suitable later on.

I don't know why I'm posting this. I guess so everyone will know I'm still here. Saddened for various reasons, but here.