I make sandwiches in a neighborhood I used to live in.
I moved to the city after 18 years in a place known for its prisons and high school symphonic bands.
Wicker Park is where they filmed High Fidelity, starring John Cusack,
and more bikes glide by than anywhere else in the city, other than the lake maybe.
Their chains squealing like lobsters in a steel water filled silver pot because it's cold and they're rusting, and they never oil them.
I've made the same sandwiches for three years in a neighborhood I don't live in,
and one time in December,
a man couldn't eat his sandwich if he saw anything but what he asked for touch it,
as if he'd vomit a Campbell's chunky Mediterranean soup all over the blue tile table that he eats at while staring at a picture of Michael Jordan going deep.
I lived in a town where teenagers had sex behind radio stations or in the mall bathroom.
I've done both, but left the next year when things started to look the same.
Same like a re-run of Two and a Half Men or a Big Italian sandwich.
I ride my bike to this job to make sandwiches in a neighborhood I don't live in, for its flexible hours and free Diet Coke.
It's nice to hug your mother,
eat the same sandwich
love the same lovers
and clean the same sheets.
your job with it's grease, it's garbage juice, it's malted milkshakes and salami.
for its one step further
I ask my boss,
what's new after 4 years?
What's new after 1?
What's new with Michael Jordan after he peaked in 98?
She asks "why haven't you left yet?"
About the author...
David Stobbe is a local Chicago actor with a deep love for language. Writing was never something he considered and through solo performance, and more classical works, he found himself writing poetry. He draws inspiration from writer's of the beatnik generation, as well as the lost generation. He hopes to people through the absurdity of what we hold onto, and the generation that is wedged between no technology and the huge shift into a world where lives were suddenly run by it.
Want to read more of David's work?
Check out his piece, Yelp, from our First Impressions issue!