Thursday, June 14, 2018


I just finished three days in our new office. I am trying to adjust to "open seating." I thought four of us, sitting one on top of the other in an area built for one, was bad. But this! A row of four seats facing another row of four seats, with little or no delineation.

Everyone is trying their best to get along and make it work. Okay. I'm chipper. I'm chatting with the intern whose face I mindlessly stare into. I miss looking out onto The Lake, which was always awesome and inspiring. But this 10th floor view onto Michigan Avenue makes me feel more connected to the vibe of the city.

But I miss my stuff. My massive plants, Audrey and Audrey, are in the den at home. My photos of my niece and nephew and my cats, are all in boxes. My work files were all unceremoniously dropped into a dumpster and hauled away. There's no place for a vase and fresh flowers. It makes me sad.

But I do have a Cubs pennant tacked to my 10" divider. I've got a Sir Paul magnet on my metal desktop file organizer. I'm trying to make it my own.

Fingers crossed that it all goes well. Or at least, OK.


This evening, as I was headed home, I ran into Caleb and Napoleon. Caleb was hiking up his pants in a most obvious way, like the corner of Michigan and Lake was his bedroom. He didn't mean anything lewd by it -- I know his belt was broken -- but I was surprised he was so indiscreet.

When I said, "Hi, guys!" to him and the cat, he hugged me and thanked me for my friendship. This is only the second time he's hugged me. Then he sat down and I got a good look at his face. He was high.

I've seen him beyond sleepy, but this was different. Red eyes, one lid heavier than the other. This was stoned.

I just put $1 in his cup and disappeared into the crowd.

Maybe I'm naive, but I truly didn't think drugs were part of Caleb and Randi's lives. Seeing him like this left me disappointed. Really? This is how you're spending your money? And sad. The other day, a woman gave him $100 because she touched his heart with this earnestness and ingenuity. None of that was on display to the people walking past him today. And worried. How could he keep a careful eye on his cash or his belongings or, most of all, Napoleon when in that condition?

But I wonder if I have any right to feel disappointed. He is under so much pressure -- Randi has battled cancer and a heart ailment. He is working overnights and panhandling by day. He is trying to find a new furnished room. With Randi still requiring a wheelchair much of the time, living in their tent outdoors is an impossibility. Indulging my not be noble or smart, but it's very human.

Still, it leaves me distinctly concerned and unhappy. Please be a good boy tonight, Napoleon. Don't wander away from your dad.