books, chicago

don’t climb up there

Today I got sick of being ear-infected and quarantined in my apartment. I went up to Ravenswood and wandered: brunch, the library, the Grind, an hour of a movie I’d already seen.

The best part of it was sitting in the sunlight and writing on the granite curb-seat outside the Ravenswood library, and watching the kids who went by – and watching them watch me.

As one little family approached me, I heard the mother saying, with resignation, “Don’t climb up there – DON’T climb up there – ” and I saw the girl looking at me like “She got to climb up there! What the hell, Mom?” She even put one hand up onto the curb, longingly, and kind of looked at me as if she hoped I would overrule her mother. I couldn’t help her out.

I wrote, a very little. (Stop with the Austen constructions.) I found myself wanting to draw, probably because I read SLOTH (graphic novel) at the library, about teenagers in comas and lemon orchards. I drew a planter and a tree and wrote “I can’t draw” on top of them.

At the Grind, I was reading WHEN SHE WAS GOOD, by Philip Roth, and the girl sharing my table with me (tiny cafe) was like, “That book’s really good.” I do like the way Chicago is so demonstratively literary. And I also like the way that strangers tell you what they think.