Be Kind, Dammit.

"You liberal fucking pussy. Mind your own fucking goddamn business."

As he yelled at me I started thinking maybe I should have and maybe I would have, but I had just left a lecture on psychoanalysis and a new world ethic -- seeing and interacting with people as full human beings.

It was after dark on a bridge crossing the Chicago river. He was a white guy in a trench-coat speaking to someone sleeping on the street. 

"Who did you vote for?" I heard him ask her.

I was already crossing the street but felt drawn to go back. So I deviated from my path. Waited on the light to change, and went back.

"Hey. Are you harassing or helping?" I asked with real curiosity since I wasn't sure what was going on. 

"I just asked who she voted for. If she voted for Romney I would have helped her." 

He'd been drinking. 

"So then you are harassing her. Why don't you leave her alone." 

"You fucking liberal pu..."

And so I walked away with him screaming for me to fight him. I could still hear him yelling a block away for me to come back and fight. No one sharing the sidewalk would make eye contact with me. 


A Chat

"How are you Janice?"

I had become friendly with the new receptionist over the last few weeks.

"Good. I used to say 'I'm Blessed', but I was told I can't say that here."

"Yeah, some people find it offensive."

I wanted to tell her that I don't find it offensive, that I find it meaningless. But then most of our greetings don't carry much meaning.

"I have a question for you."


She handed me her flip phone and asked how she could put the bible on it.

"I'm not sure you can, you may just need to carry a tiny bible in your pocket. You really don't need the Old Testament."

She'd been the receptionist for a few weeks and it was only yesterday that I realized the hoveround parked behind the desk belonged to her. She was always behind the desk when I arrived and behind the desk when I left. I never pictured her arriving on wheels.

I was sitting at the front desk with Janice because my 2PM patient hadn't arrived and Janice seems to like me. I like people who like me.

"I'm going to bible study tonight. Do you go to church?"


"Are you an atheist?"

She scooted away from me while asking this as if I'd be dangerous if I were an atheist. I didn't answer the question. I don't really know if I am one or not. I guess that makes me an agnostic.

"I was raised in church. Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night." Maybe this would repair the new rupture in our work friendship.

"Did they tire you out on it"

"I guess that's it"

"Oh, well as long as it's inside you, that's what matters. I like your spirit. I really do. I sense it in you."


is it a holiday today DOT com

I woke up to go running today and the gym was closed. I decided to go for coffee and work on a paper. There were so many children in the coffee shop. One even tried to hide under my legs during a game of hide and seek. When I got to work I checked . It said "No." It was wrong. Casimir Pulaski Day. One of the many strange reasons I love Chicago. How could I forget?


Bistec-en Identity

I received a text from Miguel's sister:

Marlene: I left my lunch bag in the fridge at school! If it's there tomorrow please eat it!
Me: Yes! What is it?
Marelene: Bistec encebollado. With tortillas and beans. In a gray lunch bag.

That was Wednesday night. I had class Thursday morning. I tried to get to school before they cleaned out the refrigerator. Success! I found it. I ate it.

When I get to their house on Saturday, Marlene is watching TV with her parents.
"Here's your tupperware."
"That's not mine."
"Yeah, from the lunch you left at school."
"Mine was in a gray lunch bag. That's not mine"

By this time everyone was laughing pretty hard at me, including me. I ate someone else's lunch. What are the chances that someone that day had the exact same lunch including a package of tortillas?

So to the person whose lunch I stole:
I'm sorry. It was a mistake. And you should probably use less salt.


Snowed In

I may not have a snow shovel,

 but I do have apple pie. 


A Dirty, Jolly Joke From a Very Old Man


So Much Past Inside my Present

You're telling me a story over fries and beer. I'm not taking it in because I am focused on how good you look.  Sorry for not listening.  You're distracting me from you.