Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Goodbye, Monroe

Philip Roth had Goodbye, Columbus, a novella of Jewish-Americans trying to assimilate and break  stereotypes as a character leaves the Ohio State University.  I have Goodbye, Monroe, a story of departing with the crazy cast characters who made a 2 1/2 block walk up Monroe Street so very special.

A few weeks ago I switched jobs.  I know in a previous post I stated that I loved my job and was quite happy in the position I was in.  That did not change.  I was not looking for a new job, but the pastry Gods smiled down on me as they sprinkled me with confectioner's sugar and said, "Here Cari, here's a position that is ridiculous in its growth and learning opportunities.  You would be a fool not to take it." I was offered a peach of a position, well rather a peach cobbler of a position, so I seized it.  And as with my last position, nothing on here reflects my current employer, etc.

Anyway, I became quite accustomed to seeing a number of faces  on my stroll from the Red line stop at State & Monroe to my Michigan Avenue employer.  Note:  My new position is still on the Red line, so sleep easy tonight. As I've been gone for a few weeks, I've realized I have missed these secondary characters in the theatre of my life, so I felt that it was necessary to say Goodbye.  Goodbye, Monroe. Note: And Hello, Harrison.  Your crazy is already proving to be bountiful due to the residentially-challenged man who asked me for  a sandwich outside of 7-11 but specified only tuna or egg, as he did not eat meat.  Once again I learn that beggars can be choosers.

Dear Ronnie:

I always enjoyed our banters. You were always polite to ask me about my day and if the restaurant was busy.  I enjoyed dropping day-old pastries and the occasional sandwich into your shopping cart when you were already asleep when I got off work.  I apologize for stopping this practice, but you really pissed me off when you asked me to start buying you burgers and chicken breast.  Do you have any idea what the salary of a pastry cook is?  Let me tell you, one step above poverty, on a good week.  I do not, nor will I for a long time, have the luxury of pissing my money away on protein when there is perfectly good rent to pay and beer to purchase, and I would prefer it if you did not get so brazen in your requests.

XOXO,
Your Friend,
Cari
 _______________________________________________
Dear Batshit Crazy Cuban Man:

I do not miss you. You lived in the alley behind my place of business and I tried everything possible to avoid you.  I lived in a healthy fear of you ever since you once asked to bum a cigarette off me and I refused.  You pleaded that you were homeless, I said if  I gave something to every bum that asked  for something that I would be homeless as well.  You told me that you were Cuban and that you would make me, "Say Hello to your little friend."  I initially thought this was a Date Rape threat and it was not until I came home and Googled that line that I learned it was from Scarface and you were not threatening me with your "little friend" but rather referencing one of the few Hollywood movies featuring a character from your homeland.  Note: How is it that a man without a home, let alone a television, has seen more movies than I?

XOXO,
Your Friend,
Cari

P.S. Thank you for showing me your "little friend,"  I was relieved that it was not a gun and terrified that it was a metal baseball bat. Your comment is the reason I became trained in hand-to-hand combat with a knife and started carrying pepper spray.  Say Hello to Your Little Friend?!?! No No sir, say hello to a punctured lung and a flesh laceration that will not heal AND pepper spray designed to be used in Alaska to stop Bears.  Say Hello to MY little friends!
 _______________________________________________
Dear Bob Marley's Brother:

I am willing to bet that most people who initially see you fear you. We only had one exchange, when I offered you a leftover salad, you refused and then said thank you.  Your shoes are worn beyond worn, your hair is a bouquet of dreadlocks, you just seem to walk around aimlessly for hours and you are as essential to the Loop as the Pink lights at PalmerHouse in October. I don't know what your story is, but  I am willing to bet that you probably have some amazing stories to tell, I hope you stay warm this winter, and if you need a coat/gloves/hat/new boots, I would be happy to procure them for you.

XOXO,
Your Friend,
Cari
 _______________________________________________
Dear Jesus Rapper:

You annoy me.  I do not care what your music is and I do not care that you pound on a timetable rapping about Jesus. I actually once had a bit of respect for you after seeing you drink half a bottle of honey then chase it with a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter.  However, I lost that all after our one and only conversation.

You sit at the Monroe stop, with a shaker of beads in hand, rapping about Jesus.  You always finish each rap with, "Thank you, my name is (edit) and I am homeless.  I get by entirely by your support."  I once thought this was mundane until I saw you taking a shot of honey.  Honey might be the greatest ingredient on Earth, I worship it. I have no less than 17 different varieties of honey in my cupboard right now (This is not an exaggeration.) I also know how extremely expensive honey has become. And to see someone playing the residentially-challenged card when chugging a premium ingredient irks me. We had a conversation about your honey consuming ways and your "career."  You told me you had the skill to not be homeless but chose not to pursue options because the only thing worthwhile in life was, "A dedication to Jesus."

Sir, I respect your devotion; however, I really think you should be able to find time for a dedication to paying taxes through legitimate employment.  Or at least claim your tips when you file with the IRS. Because even if you do not take advantage of the social services provided by taxes, you will have a very hard time finding an audience to make donations when I declare Martial Law in the near future due to the American Economy, or as I prefer to call it, "The Hindenburg: Reloaded."

XOXO,
Your Friend,
Cari
 _______________________________________________

 Dear Monroe Street Residentially-Challenged Individuals,

Thanks for the memories. Carpe Diem.

XOXO,
Your Friend,
Cari

2 comments:

  1. You're hilarious, if you had a tv show I'd buy the dvd so I could watch your show whenever.

    Shan

    ReplyDelete