Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Tuesdays are usually early days for me at work. I leave around 2:30-3 p.m., and just take my time walking to the train station. Today, I decided to walk north and catch the Orange Line at Clark and Lake, a solid mile away from work.

I'm walking a brisk pace along State Street, approaching the panhandlers' row between Jackson and Madison, when I come across the scariest one I've seen in a long time. She was short, just shy of five feet, curled against the side of a building, wrapped in a comforter. But what scared me about her was the sound that came from her mouth. It was a vicious, guttural croaking that reminded me of Regan in "The Exorcist." I jumped back slightly, in case she was speaking Latin and attacking her crotch with a crucifix. I know it reads like I'm making light of this, but this woman was in real pain.

Then, I couldn't reach into my pockets fast enough. It was like the cockroach scene in "Borat", I didn't know how much to give her. The thought that any amount would go to waste didn't cross my mind, I just wanted to alleviate her pain. I made it to the station, hopped on the train, and counted my blessings. It's been rough few months, but I'm not on the street, and far from the position this woman was in, at least. Barring something unfortunate, I should be caught up on pertinent debts by the end of March, which should make the landlord breathe easier.

I just don't want to ever wind up like that.

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