Not long ago I was in a line of cars waiting at a red light on Wabash to turn left onto Congress. As the light changed, a shiny new Mercedes coupe tried to beat the rest of us to the turn by swerving to the left of the el support posts. As he was just about to pass everyone, a dilapidated Nissan Sentra cut him off in the middle of the intersection. Amid the blaring horns, the scruffy man in the Nissan opened his car door and yelled, “You rich fucks think you can get away with anything. Well not today. Today you wait.” Then he got back in his car and refused to move. The man in the Mercedes, by then wedged in by cars trying to follow him, became obviously upset and started blowing his horn violently, but the man in the Nissan ignored him until the second change of lights. Then he slowly drove away.
The man commanded center stage in front of the cash register. While he ordered two lattes and a square of apple cake, the woman next in line studied his graying temples, his cowboy boots, his leather coat, the script tucked under one arm. As he slid his wallet back into his pocket the cashier turned to the woman. “Are you two together?” he asked. She smiled slowly: “Not yet.”