A Cancer Bitch Behaving Badly

Yesterday I went out lightly dressed and didn't mean to be gone all day, but I was. And it got colder and colder (52 degrees). Around 8pm or so I walked the half mile from Letizia's Natural Bakery on Division near Damen, where I had a latte and a chocolate chip biscotto* and did some editing work, over to Ashland to get the bus. I was waiting in the shelter when a young woman approached and said she was homeless, did we have change. All of us said no and she walked away. A small middle-aged woman among us with an accent that sounded East European though she looked Asian started spewing, Why doesn't she get a job? She could get a job. She shouldn't ask for money. In America people can work. And a girl sitting on the bench next to me tried to mollify: It's hard to get a job without an address, you don't know the circumstances. I didn't say anything because I would have said something along those lines. A few minutes later the girl came back and asked again for money and the Asian/European woman said to her angrily, You should get a job, why don't you get a job? and the girl left.

The bus came. I got off at Addison and waited in the drizzle for the Addison bus, with a woman who claimed that the bus comes at scheduled times. In all my years in Chicago I have never known a CTA bus or train to come when it's supposed to. I've always presumed that the schedule is some bureaucrat's flight of fancy. But sure enough, the bus came within a minute or two of its appointed time. When I exited at Clark it was still raining. There was a Cubs game and I was going to cut through the parking lot but some young guys in Cubs-type uniforms were standing bunched up near the entrance. One of them came up to me as I tried to go through. He said, You can't go through the parking lot. I said why? He said, I don't kno--because the players come through here and you can't get close to them. I didn't ask him why the players would be leaving in the middle of the game. He said I could take another path that was almost the same. I was so angry and cold and damp and didn't want to take an extra step. I yelled, It's raining and I HAVE CANCER!

And I turned and took the other path. It really was almost the same as cutting through the lot. I was so angry even though I was laughing at myself. I could understand how people get out of control and become abusive in public. I wanted him to recognize how stupid it was that there were five guys standing there guarding a lot from me. Me me me. I am harmless. I am a Wrigleyville resident not some stupid fan. I live around here and put up with the Cubs traffic every year and the fans peeing and shouting in the alley and stealing our potted plants from the porch. I am wet and cold and I AM CANCER BITCH.

*Nota Bene: "Biscotti" is plural only, despite what you hear and read. It means "twice cooked." Thus "terra cotta" means "cooked earth." "Panna cotta" means "cooked cream." All this has nothing to do with the word origin of matzah. Or you can just ask for the mandel bread.