Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 1 | Spring 1985

\Ne think we are cool and so we do what we think. We Do Not Walk Four Men in Bed stride down the street when we go places. Old buildings with played-out facades spin around as we walk past. The boarded-up buildings return to the ground and look that much worse for the latest round of abuse heaped upon them. We cannot move newer buildings since the new building codes of the modern world brace them for quick shots of energy like earthquakes, and for the likes of us. This does not mean that her tight pants cannot cause a little wobble in the newer buildings. They know a thrill when they see one. With me, I cannot even get a window to rattle. My best luck is with abandoned cars. Old cars love a young man who can bring back memories of highway cruising. These buildings and cars are scared, plenty scared. They sit in fear of people like us who cause trouble wherever we go. Anyway, we do not worry about buildings and cars because they keep people in. We want to be out and around. “Let's go down this street!” Away we go. The water which lies to the west of where we walk can scare us just a little. On top of water, we will sit down and remain silent. I stand on the shore and make fun of the water as it tries to get me. I can sway a little and she can stand straight. The water can only try to come a little Closer. We think we are cool and so we do what we think. Others do what they want and think what they can. Too bad we do not-think to stay around and talk anymore^ ft J B RO * : N E^LISH Linocuts by TIM BRAUN Must now, there are four of us men in bed. We study at the University of Chicago in sporadic intervals. These lapses are not entirely for financial shortfalls, unusual because in the Eighties cost is a student’s unwelcome bedfellow. To be four men in bed and to complete college in quarters rather than in yearly increments is not so strange considering the university. Nor is it an offbeat notion when you consider the four of us. We uphold the school’s reputation by being ourselves. Infamy has its price; our complicity is our confusion. This quandary parallels the snowflakes now falling outside my third-story bed- rooiVi. Each snowflake, although different in shape, must nevertheless fall to the cold Chicago ground. Each snowflake’s unique structure seems to have no purpose as they melt on the Chicago sidewalk. So it goes that four, different young men lie in bed together. As in the snowflake’s struggle, we do not want to be alike, especially tonight. We are not exactly sleeping in my bed tonight. Harris is to my left while Jed is on my right. Bill lounges perpendicular to our feet. I am the only one under the covers; since, after all, it is my bed. A car skids on the icy street during our residence on the bed. The intersection near my building seldom offers difficult passage for motorists. The average driver in Chicago is a maniac on wheels so the ice must push them over the brink. Perhaps, the elements have come together tonight. An audience awaits, albeit one sitting in bed, fora spectacle to happen. Meanwhile, the skidding car has careened out of control and makes a loud thud. The noise gets Bill out of bed and over to the window. He reports from his angle that a Honda now hugs a ‘No Parking’ sign. The responsible driver for the union of car and sign is backing up and heading for escape. The men in bed always park their cars on the streets below so Bill’s report is noted with interest. Or, as seriously as tonight will allow. I am the most cautious and park directly below my windows on the quiet side street. Bill and Jed sometimes park on the main street where the Honda hugs the sign. Harris parks anywhere that a Honda Civic can fit without tripping a passing pedestrian. He also seems the least interested in the crash report, even though he has a Honda. For once, he must remember where he parked his Civic. We listen again as another car skids along the street. None of us get up from bed so we can only conjecture about the visuals as we hear the car whooshing down the street. There is no thud. We 40 Clinton St. Quarterly