Impressions of the downtown Chicago city streets from a Lavazza cafe on a Saturday afternoon

Throughout the week, I write down moments out of the day about fascinating details of the environment and the people around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

Two moms walk past carrying white plastic bags shoulder high while digging in their coats for their phones. They each chew with their teeth flashing as if chomping on nuts.

A mother and her older daughter sit at a table not far from me. The daughter has left her coat on while the mom takes hers off.

A little girl holds her uncle’s hand as they walk by, mitten enclosed in glove. She wears a unicorn winter hat; he wears a smile.

The blue knit scarf hugs the woman.

Paper Starbucks cups clutched in the couple’s hands as lovingly and as natural as if they were holding guns.

That man’s withered naked hands reduced to fists. That young kid in shorts smiling (he must, in weather this cold). That young man’s elbowing his friend gently and smiling, then kiss (more than friends then).

All of their arms—this one’s sways his a soldier’s, this one’s are perfectly still, this one’s teeters as he wobbles, this one’s only moves from the elbow down, this one’s pump back and forth slow as if he were walking through cold oatmeal.

A youth–leavened by this new, bold city–wacthes around him as if the buildings had suddenly began appearing before him from the ground in an upsurge, their fierce growing stalks of cement and steel chalks his face as he drinks his coffee in quick sips.

Her small eyes from behind wire-rimmed glasses flicker to me with caution as I write about her walking by.

Way high up on the poles in the wind, the flag of our country reaches for the flag of our state as the flag of our state reaches for the flag of our city. The flag of our city reaches out for something. All three keep reaching but never grasp what they seek. the wind dies and their arms come down in unison.

I get tired and I stretch my legs under the table. I look down and notice bits of croissant-encrusted raisins jammed in the air vents on the floor. Searching now, I find a boot-squashed green pepper, a withered paper straw sleeve like a discarded snake skin, crumbs from some alien unknownness, and the husk of a peanut.

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