Elsie: Seen on the #74 Fullerton Bus May 30th, 2011
Elsie bounces Jerome up and down on her lap as he plays with a doll of Woody from Toy Story. Bryan stands in front of them looking on, holding onto the gray plastic loops at the top of the bus. It appears that everyone in Chicago is trying to get to the beach on this sweltering, 90-degree Memorial Day. The traffic inches forward in a seemingly infinite, exhausted parade.
Bryan decides that it's time for Jerome to stop playing with his toy. He takes it and puts it in Jerome's little blue backpack. Inevitably, Jerome starts squalling. Elsie swiftly stands him up and turns him around. "Look out the window." Almost immediately his crying stops. His tiny fists smudge up the glass as he marvels at the ordinary people in their cars outside.
Elsie realizes that she's become pretty good at this parenting thing. She is only 21, and she had no intention of becoming a mother until she was much older. Her resentment towards Bryan has been growing ever since for putting her in this position. For Jerome's sake, however, she never lets it show. She loves Jerome, that little screaming laughing ecstatic bundle of life that came from inside her. She is proud of him, and of herself for raising him.
Abigail & Francois: Seen in Lincoln Park during the last weeks of May 2011.
Tired of their quiet country life, Abigail and Francois moved to the big city in May. Though they were somewhat overwhelmed by the tall, cramped buildings and the hurried crowds of people, they still felt they had made the right decision. It had been raining quite a bit, and they found a roomy puddle on a quiet, tree-lined street where they made their home. Francois' blue and green feathers glistened when the sun reflected off the water, and Abigail's noble brown and gray feathers blended in with the woodchips and mulch beneath the bushes. They were a handsome couple.
The other ducks had protested when the newlyweds decided to move to Chicago. They felt that Francois and Abigail were too naive about the dangers of city living. "What if you get hit by a car?" Abigail's mother chastised. "And what happens when your puddle dries up? Where do you go?"
But Francois and Abigail were convinced that they would find their way. They'd happily move from puddle to puddle, exploring the city's diverse neighborhoods. Perhaps, if they wanted to settle down someday, they could find a nice pond in a green park. Or, if they wanted a more adventurous life, they could always dodge tour boats and kayaks on the Chicago River, or even brave the choppy waters of Lake Michigan. Abigail and Francois felt right at home in Chicago, and they intended to stay.
Things have been busy, as you can probably tell. I won't explain it all. This second story is about the ducks that were, until recently, living on our street. My roommate Lindsey named them. You can read her blog here. Anyway, I just saw Midnight in Paris. It was really fun, especially if you like literature and history. I'd recommend it. Also, X-Men First Class was awesome if you are a sucker for big summer superhero blockbusters like me. I feel like I haven't slept in forever. Who needs sleep? Haha...