Stare and Write

a kind of Flickr for nonfiction prose, a site where
writers post their people-watching snapshots
~ Monday, April 4 ~
I took the radio call on Washtenaw in Humboldt Park around 7pm. No sign of life for a few minutes, but then a kid with neck tattoos and a hoodie ambled up and motioned that the rest of them would be right out. Two guys and two girls; the first guy sat up front with me. “Is this one of those freaky cabs?” a voice from the back called out. Like Cash Cab? I wonder. “No, man, Taxicab Confessions, where they tell all the fucked-up shit they did, yo.” Got something to share? I ask…This leads to a graphic discussion of all the positions that they’d do it in in the cab. I tell them it happens. The one in the front wonders if he could get his crotch up to the partition where his girl could have at it. They whoop it up when I tell them that there would be extra charges for that. “By the way, yo, we’re gonna kill you,” he announces, dead-eyed, and tells his buddy in the back to give him his knife. “Just playin’!” he cracks up. … They get out at the Diversey Rock-n-Bowl.

- Dmitry Samarov in Chicago

Samarov has written Hack (Stories From a Chicago Cab), which The University of Chicago Press will publish in October. John Hodgman blurbed the book. John Hodgman! He wrote that Samarov is “as skilled a navigator of the forgotten American city as you’ll find, and his writing is funny, grim, humane, and welcome.”

This people-watching scene comes from a longer blog post called “Black Friday.” You should go read it here, especially since I cut a sentence to keep the post under the strict, arbitrary 200-word limit.

Unless I’ve wildly misunderstood, Samarov himself submitted this to “Stare and Write.” I’m so grateful.

You, too, should submit a true people-watching story. Do it here. Thank you.

Tags: Dmitry Samarov Chicago Illinois United States 196 words John Hodgman
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