Jackson & Wabash & Wells: 10:46am & 11:19am & 12:38pm by Paul Keiran Cox


You can buy Hennessy at 7-Eleven in Chicago. I laughed because you can’t back home. Living in a Commonwealth can distort how the rest of the country lives. The clerk turned, peered down his glasses at me, then went on ignoring me.

“Small bottle or big?”

“Big,” the construction worker replied, “And three taquitos.”

From a distance the T was blocked and it looked like “Rump Tower.” I stared at a stringy white woman taking photos from all angles. She wore a denim vest tucked into electric blue parachute pants and a backwards trucker hat. A little black boy in a puffy coat was behind her looking up, perplexed, while his mother stared at the pavement. The woman turned, flipped her hat forwards, and inspected the pavement as well.

Stocks & Blondes had a 4.1 on Yelp, and was listed as a dive. I sipped my drinks between two businessmen on their lunch break taking shots and reapplying expensive-looking French hair pomade and typing vigorously on their Blackberries. I wondered if they were texting each other about me because I didn’t shower and I had that zit I couldn’t pop yet. I rubbed the buried bump on my cheek, sighed, and finished my beer, thinking to myself, “Testosterone can be so catty.”

Paul Keiran Cox is currently working as a social worker in the foster care system. He lives in the Philadelphia suburbs and is learning how to play bass the Lou Barlow way. He has no previous publications.