I got food at this place underneath the Red Line tracks in Uptown.
The place didn’t even have a name—or the name was hidden by the train tracks or whatever.
Inside, I ordered and waited, leaning against the wall.
This other guy was on his cellphone, leaning his elbow on the counter facing the street.
He said, “Uh huh, I’eard ya. But you did it right.”
The worker preparing my food looked up and said, “You can take whatever you want to drink from the cooler, man.”
I went over to the cooler and took out a bottle of water, knocking another bottle over, which I picked up.
The guy on the phone said, “It hurt? It didn’t hurt nah. Uh huh. Yeah, but he like it.” He sniffed. “Ok den, come see me, come see me.”
He ended the call and put the phone on the counter.
I stood there drinking my water, looking out the front window at Broadway Ave.
Lots of people walking by.
Someone opened the door and leaned halfway in then said something to the cellphone guy, handing him something.
The cellphone guy said, “That’s why I got her though, she do that shit. Need people who do shit to get done, feel me?”
The worker was wrapping my food and putting things into a brown paper bag.
Guy leaning in the doorway said, “Ey.”
The worker looked up.
“Ey,”said the guy in the doorway, “Ha-bee-bee Boo-boo, what’s good man. How’sya, um how’sya magic carpet and camel n’shit.”
Him and the cellphone guy laughed.
They slapped hands and hit shoulders together.
Cellphone guy said, “K, I be right outside den” as the other guy left.
The cellphone guy turned to the workers and said. “Aight, later boys, I catch’all tomorrow.”
Then before he left, he held something up and said, “Oh yeah. Innyone wants this pear?”
He held up a pear.
“Who want it, now,” he said.
No one said anything.
“Shit’s good for you,” he said. Then he said, “Fine fine” and left.
I wanted the pear.
But I didn’t say anything.
I just couldn’t.
This could be the only photo of Sam Pink smiling in existence. Sam Pink = Mona Lisa.