Off the Grid

The words were stuck in my mouth like a dry piece of dressing. Not even the green Jell-o could help out. “No,  I don’t live in a shelter. I live with people who operate the shelter.” “Are they homeless, too?” “None of us are homeless,” I tried to explain. “We live in an intentional community…by choice.” I thought about the weird […]

The Best Recipe I’ll Never Eat

As a cook for a Motley Crew that serves the homeless in Uptown,  I have come across a lot of recipes that I’d never eat. They include Indian curry using beef scraps from an Italian diner. I’d always be afraid I’d find a pinky ring in the scraps…still attached to a pinky. Then there’s the recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts […]

Weeping Flowers

I love flowers. They are hard to come by in Uptown but when you see them, take your breath away. Like this petunia growing out of the cracks in an alley behind Friendly Towers. There are also a lot of flowers in the private garden, like this purple  blanket of color, thanks to our resident gnome,  Ted. He’s responsible for keeping […]

Eight Cents a Toe

There were more shoes in his cart than a centipede had feet. “Dang,  sir,  ” I started, eyeing the blue platform pumps hanging over the push bar, “What are you going to do with all of these shoes?” “What I do, no business to you,” he snapped in a thick Belizean accent. You think I had asked if he was wearing women’s underwear. The […]


The fall night couldn’t get any better. The air was crisp. The trees looked liked someone dumped a bucket of melted crayons on the leaves. The Cubs won the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. I had to walk down to Wrigley field to witness the event, cialis buy stuff at least them raising the “W” flag. W for Win. […]

Jesus Jail

So I’ve been incarcerated for almost a year now. Not at Cook County,  but Jesus Jail. But you might know it as Jesus People or JPUSA, an intentional faith based living community. Folk from all walks of life live here: artists, musicians,  junkies, punkies, the tatooed, tattered and torn, all taking  time out from whatever broke them to recover. And people come […]

Drive-bys and Drive-thrus

  Really? Another drive by in McDonald’s drive thru? It wasn’t even 6 am when I heard the shots outside my window at the McDonalds on Wilson and Sheridan. The windows got shot out of this van  by a group of guys … …the the victim got hauled away in an ambulance. But nobody saw nothin’…not even the homeless lady […]

That Old Rhinestone Cross

I’m still unsure what happened. All I know is that sparks were flying as the  broken necklace  zapped a socket,  and the cross  punctured my foot. Yes,  rhinestones and all. I am still in a bit of shock over this freak accident and I’m sure Jesus is, too.  But while the chain left a singe on the power strip, the  […]

A cuppa wifi

He was shaving outside of the donut shop with one of those disposable razors you get in a hospital care kit.  I imagined how dull that blade was as he  checked his reflection in the glass. As he moved in closer to shave his jawline, the man stopped to read a sign. FREE WIFI He  placed his razor down on the cement curb and hustled inside. […]

What the Pho?

I’m made pho fo’ three hundred and fifty people this afternoon. I don’t know what pho looks like or even how to pronounce it. I think it’s pronounced fo, like fo’real and fo’get it. I’ve never made pho be-pho,  but since I lived in Asia, everyone thinks I should be a whiz at making it. Pho’ real ? Luckily, none of […]