Last evening I went for a 3-mile walk in our Chicago neighborhood called Wrigleyville (sometimes referred to as Lakeview). I’ve always been a people-watcher and tonight was no exception. When I’m walking in a crowd or on the subway I’ll glance at a person, or sometimes a couple, and make up a hypothetical story about them.
Once I was on the subway in the late afternoon on the south side. A handsome young fellow got on the train with his jeans, shirt, arms, face, and hands just covered in plaster dust. He looked tired and really needed a shower, but the dirt on his body was from honest hard work. After a couple of stops a young lady boarded the train and sat down next to the young man. She smiled at him, took his hand and they kissed. It was a tasteful kiss; not one casually thrown around. These two were in love and had been for some time! A few stops later they got off, holding hands as they walked down the street of one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. I thought about what would happen when they arrived at their humble flat, knowing that riches don’t buy passion. However, that story will have to remain unwritten!
Another time I saw a mid 50’s Caucasian gentleman sitting on the subway next to his Japanese wife. She had a cello case and he had a violin case. They were formally dressed and this was a midnight train. I hypothesized that they were employed by the Chicago Symphony and were returning to their north side home after a performance. They looked weary, but happy.
Tonight as I walked out of our Victorian Greystone for my three-mile walk I saw hundreds of people. One young girl (probably 25 but looking more like 40) walked by me and I smiled at her, but her face showed only hurt and pain; seemingly incapable of even a pleasant smile. She was emotionally damaged and I wondered what had happened to her. People need good friends to pick them up when they are down; I don’t think she had experienced that kind of friendship for a long time.
I saw a lot of young couples walking and holding hands last evening. I’ve always thought that holding hands was a wholesome way to walk with a date and these kids seemed like they were having a good time. There were also groups of girls and groups of guys, mostly 20-somethings, lining up to get into bars or theaters. I’ve sensed for many years that Wrigleyville is the hormone capital of the world, or at least of Chicago.
During my three mile walk I encountered several thousand people..literally. That’s what makes people watching entertaining in big cities. Later I returned to the flat to kick out this blog. It’s already past midnight, so I’ll post it right away. Hope you enjoyed it. Happy people watching!