Reader to Reader | Essay | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Essay

Reader to Reader



One morning I was driving to work on North. I was about four blocks west of Western. It was 8:30--buses, cars, drunks on the corner, kids walking to school. In front of me was a school bus. In front of the bus was a black car. Traffic was moving slowly. On the sidewalk I noticed a kid in giant jeans and a windbreaker, 14, maybe 15 years old. On his head was a blue bandana tied in front. He was flashing some sort of hand signal at the black car, fingers curled and extended, waving up and down. I pointed him out to my passenger, a friend from out of town, with the casualness one would point out a blue jay or a squirrel: "Hey, look at that." Then the kid pulled out a gun from his pants and started firing it down the street at the black car: pop pop pop. He hesitated, then started running down the street the opposite way. No cars stopped. Traffic kept moving slowly. People at the bus stop looked and then looked away. The black car pulled into the middle lane, letting the school bus pass. Then it turned onto the next block. That was it. I continued on to work with everyone else.

--Steve Stein

Reader to Reader welcomes (and pays for) anecdotes, overheard conversations, and slices of city life from 20 to 200 words in length. Send yours to Reader to Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or E-mail to

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →