017 Dent and Dream

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

It’s a hotel, one of the old ones. The rooms are large, spacious, with plenty of room to store clothing and shoes and your empty luggage; they’re large enough to live in genteelly, which was common once. The large windows, flanked by heavy drapery, look out over Lake Michigan. One of the spacious, well-appointed rooms […]

016 Need

Monday, November 16th, 2009

They look like ordinary people: business men, children, homeless people, neighbors, barristas. They will ask you for something innocuous: a glass of water, to use your phone, a ride to the train station. Something about them will feel off, wrong, threatening. You will find yourself terrified of them. They will ask again, pleading. They only […]

015 Tunnels

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Forty feet below street level, beneath the water mains and electrical lines and telecommunications lines, there are 62 feet of tunnels and connections. Freight in the form of packages, deliveries, and coal (as well as removal of rubbish and ash) were moved beneath the streets from their construction in 1906 until their closure in 1959, […]

014 In Between

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

There are places that are between places: hallways, doorways, stairways, elevators, alleyways. They are not places proper. People do not live there, they simply pass through from one place to another. Crawl spaces, the space under the bed, closets, the space between the ceiling and the floor above it: they are places that do not […]

013 Thirteen

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Like many large, old cities Chicago is full of high rise buildings with marble entryways and dimly lit brass-grilled elevators. These buildings, when labeling the floors, skip 13. This is a desperate attempt to avoid the bad luck associated with the number thirteen. It is rumored that if one stops an elevator between the 12th […]

012 Green

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Early non-Aboriginal settlers to the area described the river now known as the Chicago river as “little more than a sluggish, meandering, muddy ditch.” It has been widened, straightened, re-routed, and reversed. So much filth was emptied into it that portions of the river bubbled as methane gas from decomposing bodies, both human and non. […]

011 Changeling

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Chicago, like all of America, does not have Fairies native to it. Some immigrants brought their pookas and brownies and kobalds and rusalkas with them, but most did not fare very well. Their places were already filled, for the most part, by the dark and secret beings native to this land. The ones which did […]

010 Noises

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

They keep you awake at night, jarring you out of encroaching sleep or else jerking you out of paralyzing dream. It’s the sibilant hiss, the raucous rattle and clank, of steam heat radiators. Sometimes the hissing of the steam sounds like whispers, voices, malevolent snake demons from the darkest pits of Hell. Sometimes the metallic […]

009 Alterations

Monday, November 9th, 2009

There is a small dry cleaner/tailor shop underneath the El. Across the street from it is the station, which has a snack shop and newspaper stand. It’s squeezed into a space exactly the width of the tracks, and the posters advertising services are sun bleached and faded. There is a closed sign on the door, […]

009 Alterations

Monday, November 9th, 2009

There is a small dry cleaner/tailor shop underneath the El. Across the street from it is the station, which has a snack shop and newspaper stand. It’s squeezed into a space exactly the width of the tracks, and the posters advertising services are sun bleached and faded. There is a closed sign on the door, […]