With each passing day I feel a little more out of place, here within the suburb of Aurora, Illinois. I've never considered myself to be a snob, but when I think about why I'm getting the itch to move, I freely admit that my motives are snobbish: I'm better than these people, and I'm tired of pretending I'm not.
I suppose I am a snob to a point, but only because I prefer to wear pants above my ass. I'm definitely a snob when it comes to appearance: I'm showered, starched, and shaved whenever I leave the house...even when headed to ALDI. The only time I wear pajama bottoms outdoors is when I've forgotten to take the trash out at night, and have to run it out in the morning. Pajamas are for sleeping, not shopping...and house slippers should never leave the home. Unless you're on a gurney. Or running from a burglar wearing a "Jigsaw" mask.
"Don't believe what they say in the paper," a young, stoned, African American girl said when she saw me. "The police, they twisted this shit all around," she insisted, referring to the events behind what I could only assume was the death of her boyfriend (and emphasizing her statement by stamping out blunt). I told her I wouldn't, then pressed on to the store. But I Googled the incident as soon as I got home - A 22-year-old Aurora man was shot at least once in the bathroom at a restaurant in the 800 block of North Lake Street around 7:34 p.m. - and learned that the group was mourning a dude who got cornered in the crapper. I wondered if the victim had been taking a dump, or if his final location was the end result of a chase. Neither scenario was glamorous, and when my own demise comes, I hope it happens somewhere other than the toilet of a taco joint. A nice, clean hospital would be ideal, though as long as I'm at least dressed for ALDI, I'm open to other locations.
But in the meantime, I am what I am...and I happily chuckle at the things I see around me. I walk a lot in my neighborhood, and I'm not afraid of the people I cross on the sidewalk. And though I might not speak up when you sing "I'm a play'a" as I'm shopping, be aware that I'm watching...and I will write about you later!