Permanent Significance


We are going to Wicker Park so my roommate can sell her clothes for money. She’s most likely going to get close to nothing for it and it will be a waste of a trip, but I am always up for an adventure. This is why I struggle getting my homework done. Adventure is always calling and I am bad at ignoring it.

We went to Wicker. As expected, none of my roommate’s clothes were accepted by the hip and trendy thrift store.

So, we left.

The chilled night winds caused a whirlwind of leaves to circle our feet as we walked through the lit up neighborhood. We passed hipsters dressed in unique grunge fashion; The young.

The sector was filled with a youthful angst that excited me. A rebellion of youths all standing against the face of conformity.

I couldn’t help but repeat the dedication of Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl, in my head.

“To the unknown buggered & suffering beggars & angelheaded Hipsters everywhere…”

As we strolled, the sweet smell of my friend’s herbal cigarette filled my senses. She likes smoking, but doesn’t want to ingest nicotine or tobacco, so she orders these online as a substitute.

I was with four of my pals, all joking, laughing with one another as we took in our surroundings.

We were about to head into a thrift store to look for some halloween costumes, when one of my friends saw a tattoo shop across the street. Without a word he started walking towards it and I followed closely behind seeing what caught his eye. The others noticed and ran across street asking questions.

The ring of a bell signaled our arrival. Next thing we knew we are sitting in the back waiting room stealing treats from a bowl of halloween candy, talking to inked up tattoo artists, and showing off our stick and poke tattoos that we did in the weeks before. The train ride back is my most and least favorite. I love the train because it is a spaceship. It takes to me to different worlds.

Because Here,

Neighborhoods are planets in the complex solar system that is the city of Chicago.

I hate the train when it’s time to leave.

Stepping on, I am tingling with the excitement of adventure, never knowing what could happen.

But when we are standing on the platform waiting for the train to take us back, I am left only to face an ending that I don’t want to reach.

Back home is familiar; Comfortable.

Always calling me back to reality… away from the spontaneous escapades that are to be lived.

And with that, we left Wicker Park.

Ten arms.

One bandaged and inked from the night.

(Shayna Halvorsen / City of Stories Student)


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