Chicago-Style People Watching

Back when my son was born four years ago and I found myself at home during the day, I started to morph into the nosy neighbors in The 'Burbs, keeping tabs on everyone on my block. I became obsessed with what was happening in the house across the street, the house which had been covered with vines and had a front yard that was more "wild prairie" than "lawn." I had always secretly loved that house because, no matter how shitty my front yard looked, that front yard could always be counted on to look shittier. One day a hazmat crew showed up and started taking things out of the house, and then all the windows in the house remained open for the next six months. Still don't know what happened there. Still haven't asked anyone. It can't compare to the scenario in my head, which involved meth production and corpses.

Then there's also a portly (OK, more than portly) guy who walks past my house twice a day. When I first saw him, I thought, "Good for him, getting out and exercising." I figured I'd start seeing him slim down, making healthy habits for himself, going from Comic Book Guy to Rainier Wolfcastle. I wrote an entire backstory and future for him in my head. But I just realized today as he walked past, he hasn't changed at all in four years. Here I had created this whole story for him and (WHAT?) none of it was true. (Although, he's still out walking every day, so good on him for that. Seriously.)

Is there anyone you see in your day-to-day life, whom you've never met, but whom you find yourself wondering about? Is it a guy on the train? A lady who makes her daily Starbucks run at the same time you do? Have you ever talked to your favorite people-watching subject?


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Tags: Chicago

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