I lived in Logan Square fifteen years ago, right on Kedzie Boulevard. Johnny's Grill was across the street, but Lula's wasn't. This was before car alarms automatically shut off after a time. They would go off for hours and hours until I was ready-well, never mind. That is for another Ausgang on noise. Nobody lived in a condo. Our building was apartments around a courtyard. Next door was an SRO. We could see into one room of the SRO from our kitchen window. The man kept a milk jug of a mysterious cloudy brown liquid on his window sill. He often spent time naked. His room was so small, that there was no place in that room where we could not see him. There was a heat wave that summer. It was not the 1995 one that killed hundreds of people in Chicago. Still, this one lasted several weeks and was finally broken by a sudden and violent thunderstorm that set off all the car alarms in the neighborhood, but once again, that's for that other Ausgang. My roommates and I watched the storm from our front porch. We watched an ambulance stop in front of the SRO next door. We watched the paramedics get out of the ambulance in the pouring rain, pulling on their powder-blue latex gloves. They went inside the SRO and about 20 minutes later came out with a huge black bag zipped shut on a stretcher. It was still pouring when they put the body in the ambulance. The paramedics peeled off their powder-blue latex gloves, threw them on the ground and drove off. Several days later, I was in the alley behind my building. A single mattress with a huge, oozy-looking, rust-colored stain was leaning up against the dumpster. A resident from the SRO saw me looking at it and mentioned that the guy had been dead for a week before anyone noticed. That mattress stayed in the alley for the rest of the summer.

 

- Julie Pomerleau