White Palace Grill   
Chicago, IL   


One night I couldn't sit still and had to walk. It was about 2 am, no one was home when I left and no one was anywhere on the street. I lived over on Walnut at the time, in that Industrial District. I spent about 2 hours checking out factories and then went up on the tracks for a while. I circled back around and I think I came down off the tracks onto Wood. The entire time I had seen only 2 other people, both shopping cart guys out looking for metal. I saw them both from a distance of at least a block, small figures with huge piles of stuff wedged into their carts, shrinking finally into the shadows. It was so quiet that the sound of their carts on the fucked up cement lasted for blocks after they disappeared. I felt like I was the only one in Chicago. It was mid-summer, warm enough to sleep outside which I considered. I zigged-zagged so the walk would last just a little longer. North a bit then back west then south. I was walking really fast to get that night time walking alone feeling firmly fixed. I turned onto Fulton going pretty fast and there, diagonally spanning the street, blocking non-existing traffic, was a semi. An open topped one. A huge dump-truck I guess. It was exactly mid-block and completely bathed in that yellow street light color. Coming out of the pile of crap on the top of the truck was a huge green tube which was connected somehow to something on the truck. And at the other end of the tube was a little tiny guy moving it around over the trash. He was making his way from one end of the truck to the other.

- Melinda Fries