On the Sidewalk in Chicago
He bellowed the three syllables at me, asleep on the sidewalk in Chicago outside the Greyhound station.
“Yessir,” I said. Awaking from a sound sleep—my bag under my head and my knees tucked over my backpack—I sat up and gave the response I used to give to my father after oversleeping.
“Do ya have your ticket?”
There are many things a uniform does for a man. Wearing one, he looks brave, strong, noble and a host of other big and abstract words that make me uncomfortable. One of those things is make him look really tall. Especially when one is lying on the sidewalk.
Rising from my seat on the concrete, I thought “this cop isn’t as tall as he looked from the ground.”
“You have a ticket?” He growls in his on-the-street voice. Three steps behind him stood his blonde back-up with a scowl.
“Yeah.” I dug out the folded thing from my pocket.
“Aight,” he says, “be careful.”
Yeah, I think, no one wants to wake this big ole white guy off the sidewalk but a cop with back-up.
Returning to my bags on the cement, I read the opening of Crime and Punishment.