Thursday, February 03, 2005

Return of the Saxophone

It is delightfully warm outside tonight--42F according to one clock I passed. The best thing about it warming up is that the streetcorner saxophone player came out of hibernation this week. He seranades me from across the intersection as I unlock my bike to ride home from work. What a great start to a ride!

He also makes me see my city through the eyes of the tourists coming downtown to see a show. The El lumbers overhead, people hurry on the sidewalks, the streets are filled with cabs and above it all drifts the saxophone--the perfect accompanyment to the traffic noise and setting the perfect city scene. Even I play my part, a little girl biking in traffic at night, adding just another new dimension to the wonders of my vibrant city. At least I hope this is what these tourists see, all dressed up and excited about going to the theatre in the big city. I hope they take the time to breathe it all in and see Chicago for all of its gritty, noisy,, and I also hope they recognize their place in it, too. I'll play the roles of protester, bike messenger, hurried attorney or happy urban girl (sometimes all as once!) as appropriate to my outfit and setting so long as the tourists let me admire them for their wide, wondrous eyes and excitement.

Some days Chicago is just the place I live, a background to my routine. Other days Chicago is a stone in my shoe, causing me needless irritation and annoyance. Nights like tonight, when the city does nothing more than be itself and I do nothing more than have the sense to appreciate it are my favorite times.

I mount up my bike, leave the saxophones strains behind and blend into traffic, joining the thousands of other people I share Chicago with in a journey home on a balmy night. Next week the cold may return and people's open faces may be replaced with scarves and hands retreat into mittens. A blanket of dirty gray slush may soon cover the streets for cars to splash onto me as they honk and speed by. Tonight, though I am at peace as I relish this mid-winter gift of a joyful bikeride home through my beloved city on a warm winter night.


At 2:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your blog.

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger jojo said...

Thanks, that's sweet to hear!


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