I woke, packed, rattled my silver beauty to the lombard train station, and waited for that rail guided people mover. Chatted with Mr. Bassphreek post job interview and noticed a change in the air. Things have greatly picked up speed in many lives these past few months. It's nice to hear those success and share in the laughs. So I hop on my tube and bust out my book. Seems like all to soon that I'm lugging my equipment out of the train station and making my way towards Michigan ave.
During my walk I get a text from my buddy Vlad informing me that there is an awesome Taco Salad special going on for lunch. I still owe him lunch and don't know that there will be another chance like this to repay him. So we meet up and I'm happily surprised with the dankness of my salad. A few spicy pockets I push through but over all SOOOO good! Not as good as our conversations, He's recently returned from a purging, spent some time in Florida with his family, and found a calming to the madness in his mind. It gives me great hopes to know that I'll be doing something similar in the coming weeks. We talk about the upcoming conference and who he's excited to meet. I spill some of my tension out onto the tables, hope meets reality, and taco salad crumbs.
After an hour or so we part ways and I continue east towards Michigan. I stop short of my usual corner because there is a farmers market and I see a nice spot to start the days work. It was a smart choice, I scoop up some loot, and some smiles early in the day before moving onto where I like to normally do my thing.
For the past three months I've been trying out a variety of spots and within this past month I finally settled on one. I really enjoy setting up on the corner of Milwaukee and Michigan. I set the bitch up there most Thursdays and have found great success. So I figured today would run me the same...
I put the bucket out, dump the change in, and start to focus my attention to the passing faces. I start by eating a banana in slow motion to the beat, and you might think "That's just ridiculous"...It is but man! it sure does get people to smile. I ease into a couple of good songs, pick up some shiney, and way more folded then I could hope for. After a few hours my good friend Jong shows up. He just had his final interview with Apple and decided to come kick it for the evening in the city with me. Right as he arrives I notice on the corner across from me, the "silver guy" shows up, and starts eying me. He waits a little bit but then starts setting up his milk crate stage and eventually doing his thing....RIGHT ACROSS FROM ME!!! Street performing can be pretty cut throat, I've gotten into it with guys down in the CTA, a few weeks prior some crazy bums, and now this YAHOO with a leg brace. He does the same 6 or 7 motions over and over again, to the same 3 songs........makes a killing....but up until today I didn't have to look at him.
I haven't really taken a break since lunch, so I pack up my things, and head to the Subway right over by my silver adversity. We lock eyes as I pass and I dare not break my gaze. I head into the subway, snag 3 delicious oatmeal raisin cookies, refill my water bottle, and head to Michigan and Randolph where a month ago I was stalked by a lovely set of eyes. I'd like to give her another chance to make me feel like an important speck in her masterpiece. Jong and myself kick it there for an hour or so, make a little bit of scratch, and I bump into this kid. He looks extremely familiar but I just can't put my finger on where we've met. Him and this girl stay and watch me do my thing for a bit...
A girl with 1/4 the normal amount of jeans on threatens to battle me...seriously...it looked like a cougar had snacked on her jeans and instead of buying new ones she told her friends it was "in". I screamed at her to get a full wardrobe and find me next week.
I get in a couple of pictures with some tourists.
Give out some suckers to some hesitant little children.
And eventually talk to people through a microphone on a busy street corner...
...To that extremely attractive women, who ignored my compliment, I get it...but yeesh! The world is cold enough, a smile, highfive, somefin...The upturned nose, head strong, mean stride thing is so over played these days.
Feeling like a stick in the mud or one of those other analogies I don't quite get but know spells out defeat I return to my usual corner. Like I said earlier, I've made some great monies in front of that Walgreens, I get a long with the management, and it catches a lot of really good traffic. The young man who I knew but didn't know departs from his female company and decides to kill a few hours with us. With this new development I have to ask...
"Where the fuck do I know you from dude..."
He explains of a time early in the summer when I was chilling with Sturf and DJ that we all met up for like an hour and walked about the city. It all comes rushing back to me and my overall good vibrations about the young man are instantly validated.
So I'm set up, digging in for the last few hours of my day, and there is this huge silver eye sore to my right. I decide to go with my own gimic...Me, some slamming D&B, and a delicious Red Apple. People sprinkle change in my bucket and I have a nice time cracking jokes with my two buddies.
I get the urge to take a wizz, I ask Jong to watch my equipment, and head to an alley. I have flashes of getting arrested for public urination but decide to go through with breaking the law. I think the risk reward is much better then having to walk around and actually find a public bathroom in the Loop (no easy task). Upon my return, I notice an extremely crazy homeless man has attached himself to our doings, and this isn't my first run in with this guy.
I've seen him before, i hobbles around on his cane, teeth rotting out of his face, large amounts of gray in beard, his hair the same, shorter then most, and always ranting about things. A couple times previous he's yelled at me "That pop-locking shit be Dead, u can't keep up" a few jingles of his cup and he's gone. I've always caught a bad vibe from him but like I said, he's usually peace after a few, but on this night he decides to stay and bother any passing peoples that might contribute to my bucket. After he scares off a few customers I decide to engage...The first of many mistakes!
Once previous I experienced a similar problem and dialed up the always honorable Chicago PD. They came, handled the problem, and I got back to doing what I love most. No arrests were made but the situation was defused and I hoped for a similar result. I give "Gray Bum" more then a few warning before finally telling him that I'm calling the cops. The name calling begins...I'm a snitch, I'm working for the man, and a whole slue of others. To be honest...
It fucking sucks...I hate seeing poverty and wish there was something I could do about it. The reality is, I have friends that teeter on the edge of being poor and homeless. Times are tuff and only seem to be getting tuffer these days. There is a homeless man who during the day normally watches me do my thing and doesn't bother anybody. When I finish and go to get dinner I always make sure to give him a little something and we've never had a problem....Oh and sometimes I play some earth wind and fire! This always makes him boogey with me and it's FUCKING HILARIOUS!!! However, there is no compromising with this man, and as were waiting for police to show up (20minutes after the call) he makes several direct threats on my life.
So when the police show up I start to feel a little more at ease, which if you've kept up with the goings ons in my life this past year you'd know this is a rare feeling. I don't really like Authority and after this evening my stance is completely planted....FUCK THE POLICE...no seriously...FUCK EM!!!
She's fat! and balding...a ginger and as I approach the car so does Mr. Crazy cane. She immediately snaps at me...
"Step away from the car, I don't want to speak to you until I'm ready to speak to you."
"Step away from the car, I don't want to speak to you until I'm ready to speak to you."
I'm a little confused but knowing that I'm in the right I step back thinking it's only a matter of time before she realizes it as well. Psycho bum man becomes Mr. calm, completely playing a much more appropriate roll, and after a few minutes of them discussing I'm called over to the car. As him and I pass each other I get this ridiculous half smile from him and he takes out an orange to begin pealing.
"Now sir, what seems to be the problem..."
I explain the things I've already explained to you and she says...
"Yes but what seems to be the problem."
So I go into further detail, she sighs, asks me for identification, and starts filling out yellow cards. After a few minutes of standing there in silence, staring at the folds that her flack vest is having a hard time hiding I get this speech from her.
"I'm not going to tell him to leave & I'm not going to tell you to leave. You two are going to need to just get a long. There are a lot of crazies out here and we can't go responding to every time one of them makes an idol threat."
I guess I have this "WTF" look on my face because she says
"well sir......what would you like me to do."
And I tell her that I'd really appreciate it if she did what the law enforcement agents did previously. And ask the man to move on, because he's going to listen to you over me. Then she asks me how long I've been doing this, because, she hasn't seen me out here before. I'm confused and ask what that has to do with anything and then follow up with...HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO GET ALONG WITH SOMEONE WHO IS THREATENING MY LIFE?
"Well sir, this is all being recorded, so now I need you to tell me what you want me to do."
It takes a lot of restraint to not say...You pizza eating, coffee chugging, minority oppressing, waste of space, eating up my fucking tax dollars...DO YOUR DAMN JOB! Serve and Protect! Instead I just ask her to handle the situation the way it's been held before but again I get a heavy sigh...So I ask for my identification back and tell her I'll handle this my way.
I head over to stumpy McGee and reach into my bucket...I dump some of my earnings into his cup and say.
"DUDE! I really don't want to leave this spot. Give me space for a few hours and I'll definitely kick you some change but please MOVE ON!
This excites officer fun bags and she calls me over to the car..."Hey what are you doing? Don't do that, I'm going to have him leave..." From out of no where a sergeant comes walking up and has me stand to the side. I watch the portly cop who still hasn't gotten out of the car once wave her arms about (oh the arm fat) and make a big deal out of her making a little deal out of a moderately charged situation.
At this point the panhandler has peddled on down the road and I'm stuck sizzling with two strips of bacon. The sergent calls me over and says...
"Sir is there anything else we can do for you."
I say no, he's gone, but he said he'd be back...
"Well if he comes back give us a ring and will...
...Fat, semi balding lady cop, gets out of the car for the first time and approaches her Sgt and me to say "There are 3 of you and one piss bum...right, he's a smelly, intoxicated piss bum, Why don't you Grow a pair, and deal with it."
I'm blown away!!!
I mean, jaw, floor, and I can see that smug silver mother fucker over there enjoying ever second of this. By the way...Don't give him money...He wears a brace to do that "smooth criminal lean" and does the same few moves over and over again...plus he gets way to mad at people for taking pictures. So he's getting a peak at victory and I'm staring at a fat greasy blue cow who is spewing with contempt. The irony of the situation is I'm the one who summoned her and at this point greatly regretting it. Before leaving she grabs my badge one last time and writes something down.
Both cops leave and I start to get back to my evening. Confidence greatly rattled but my two buddies help get me back in the spirit of things. It helps when I group of black girls come up and watch me do my thing. I'm slamming pretty hard getting my angst off my chest and I get a few claps. Then they ask...can we put on a song? I figure, sure I'll let you make some money for me :D One of the girls puts on a Twista track & I get to watch some of the most skilled humping I've ever had a chance to witness. Not more then a few minutes later an undercover cops cruise right up to my corner and call me to their car.
"You need to vacate this corner right now."
I ask why?
"Because your within X amount of feet from the door and because I said so."
I start to realize what sort of Cops these are...They are definitely Narcos...Big motherfuckers, the type that would probably beat your ass in an alley and leave you for dead. The type that might even shoot an unarmed person in a bar and get away with it. I ask them if I can move down the way and I get told.
"No, actually, you can't be anywhere on Michigan avenue...Move your ass to wabash. If you don't like it, I'll arrest you and take your shit."
With that big blue and white penis in my ass I walk back to my things and start packing up.
I know that frumpy, lazy, cold hearted cunt of a cop, called in a favor...
...I know this because way way way earlier in my day.
"Hey man! What are you doing? PopLocking?"
They shout from the car.
"nah man, I'm popping, and sometimes locking...mostly doing Liquid though"
That was pretty much it, no talk about the rules I'm breaking, or arresting me and taking my shit. Now all of a sudden after a negative run in with this one cop I have cops fist fucking me and what little rights I have.
I'm beaten, discouraged, but I decide hoping on the next train is for the week. So we set up on state street and are greeted by three extremely cute girls. They ask us if we mind them doing some side walk art for this gallery that is opening tomorrow. Really without an answer the ring leader jumps to it and they begin stenciling out letters. They are nice enough to let me help and after selecting some good chunes I get to draw on the sidewalks. I'm no Joe Condon but I'm pretty proud of my "N" that I trace out and the three feet I do. I cycle through some AC/DC and get these talented pretty ladies to smile a little bit. When they go to leave I run up and tell the extremely quite cute one she was my favorite. Creepy...yes Unnecessary... Definitely! Her face however was a dazzling display of brown and red that I can only hope kept her warm the rest of the time they did their sidewalk doodles.
We kick it for a half hour more and then three become two. It's Jong and I heading back to take the train to Lombard. I grab some grease and Orange HI-C, write a short napkin poem for a cute girl in purple and then board the train with a bit of time to spare. As we ride along, Jong steals my book I was reading and leaves me with wandering eyes. These eyes spy a 20 something girl with a hard day landing heavy on her brow. So I get to writing this circular piece about, admiration for the little things, natural beauty, and acknowledging that in strangers. I leave specific instructions to hold onto the napkin for a few days, weeks, but eventually to give it to another passenger on another train someday. I give it to her, once again, skin shifts to shades of reds and the world keeps spinning. As she gets off in Elmhurst she says to me...
"I'll make sure to pass this on...Thanks."
Two more stops is where Jong and I depart from the train. We step out into that lovely crisp fall air and stride wide to our cars. I'm going to miss adventures like this...Another one for the books (blog) and lord knows what the next one will be like.
Special shout out goes to Chicago P.D.
I hope one day you all get what you deserve and we as a people can learn to police ourselves. Because it's a fucked up system...been broken for much to long and it leaves a lot of us feeling helpless. All I need was a little help this evening...just a few right words directed at an extremely ill individual. Instead! I'm made to feel like I'm some sort of bad person. I tend to feel the world is a balanced place but after staring hard and long into the eyes of the beast I can't help but feel the odds are slanted in some peoples favor a little more.
When the revolution does come...
...You can find me and those brave enough to help, knocking over the nearest police station, arming up to take over a few more of them creating a perimeter to secure our own little city. The illusion of safety, by the intrusion and violation of our civil rights. No matter what I do or say they are always right...so I write...Goodnight.