Sitting on Rush street in my 2000 Buick Lesabre watching people walk by and I realize how so many of us are living life so differently. One block from the magnificent mile and the streets are filled with tourists. They see a Chicago many of us don’t see. The beautiful affluent almost regal landscape that promotes luxury and the finer things. I ask myself, what did I miss? What am I doing wrong? I should be enjoying this way of life like everyone else. A man walks by me with a shirt that says “Accept No Limits” and in my mind I take heed.
None of us should be living bankrupt of happiness. It is not a commodity that should be bought and it should not be kept away from anyone and hoarded by the wealthy. It’s a beautiful clear day in Chicago on Rush street and the people are loving it.
Now I’m back on the South Side, the Starbucks on Stony Island and as I get out my car a man who appears to be homeless is staring me down as I walk towards the door. I am prepared to ignore him but he walks past me as we exchange an intense stare then he bends down at the front of my car as if he has found something. I think about saying something but I’m just here to charge my phone.
Starbucks is an oasis in the South Side even though they got rid of the comfortable couches replacing them with bar stools and long tables. I can’t help but think about the vibe in just left sheer opulence only to return to a busy street with a coffee shop oasis. I’ve been transported by way of lake shore drive between two different worlds within the same space.
‘Son of a preacher man’ plays in the background of this warm Starbucks and the cooler plays a loud hum over the music. Yup, I’m back on the South Side. Back on the side off town that out-of-towners fear. The side of town where the sound of a gunshot is just as natural as the sound of laughing children. The side of town that seems to be neglected by those who have. The side of town where I was born.
I love the south side.
Listen/Buy ‘Speak Life’ by Precise