20 September 2012

In the Moment at Monroe & LaSalle

 "We can have in life but one great experience at best,
and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience
as often as possible."
 Oscar Wilde

She walked out of Northern Trust - on the Monroe side - just as I rounded the corner from LaSalle.  Walking behind, I watched her bobbed hair as it shimmied back and forth across her long neck to the rhythm of her walk.  A sleeveless black linen dress hugged her hips and between them a tiny bottom shimmied in synch with her hair. 

She wore flat black sandals and her toe nails were lacquered brandy-cherry red. A glint of sun struck her large toe and a flash of white light cracked off the rounded nail and, with it, I was aware of everything.

The EL's banging and rattling going north on the tracks scored the scene of a Chicago Spring afternoon where, in the moment, it all stopped and life came together.  The bob and bottom froze as the toe nail flashed in the fore ground of a subway train cutting my picture in half with an aluminum streak. 

It lasted 10 seconds. Intense, crisp and bright turned to muddled and dull. Like going from 70mm Cinerama to a nine inch B&W TV.   The bob disappeared. The EL faded.  I walked into the Madison street entrance of the Northwestern, bought an Old Style in a brown paper bag and headed to the 5:07.


ELS said...

This is why I read you. I'm sure the boy's knickers work for some, but this was just gorgeous. 'In the moment it all stopped and life came together.'


What's an Old Style? Is it a scuddy mag?

tintin said...

Old Style is a beer. Although, I like the idea of it being a dirty magazine. Perhaps for missionaries only.

David V said...

Old Style. It used to be the "Official" beer of Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written Tintin.I had the good fortune of expense account living in Chicago in the late 90's, you brought back some wonderful memories.
Doug Philadelphia

Alice Olive said...

Have to admit I also wanted an Old Style to be a classy porno.

Great writing, and takes me to Chicago for a flash.

Tim said...

Great post. Echoing what ELS said, this is why I read The Trad. If you're ever in Chicago, I'd love to get a beer with you.

NYC kid in CHI said...

When was the picture of Monroe taken? I work two blocks north on LaSalle, and have been in CHI for three years, but this pic looks a bit older.

As for Old Style, never had one until I got to CHI, but have enjoyed them since my arrival...

tintin said...

David V - Can you still get Special Export at Wrigley?

Doug- Thanks. Yes, I too enjoyed an expense account Chicago. My boss once said of me, "If Tinseth sees a cab on the street it goes down on his expense report."

Alice Olive - Big costume budget?

Tim - "A" beer?

NYC Kid- That's a Google street map. No idea when it was taken but I'll never forget the corner. Do they still make Special Export?