July 10, 2006

Cub reporter on the Eisenhower

The Ike is a parking lot. Sipping coffee and listening to the latest out of Baghdad on WBEZ, I adjust my tie in the rear-view mirror. Where was the warning? Adulthood may be closer than it appears. A week ago I was watching Law & Order on my parents' couch all afternoon, making my way a few pages at a time through a Richard Powers novel I picked up at the used bookstore in Champaign. Now someone is paying me to write. To put words on the page. Words from press releases and from the mouth of a congenial, white-haired assistant police chief. They're paying me enough to buy a used Mercury with my first paycheck. I'm writing something and getting paid for it. Fulfilling the stock answer I gave to the stock question from every friend and relative for the last five years. That outweighs the nine to five schedule and the fluorescent light. There's poetry in the police blotter. I know there is, there has to be.
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