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The February Marilyn

by Monica Dascal

Monica says: I've enjoyed writing since I was about ten. Growing up, I got to fly around the world, aboard a well known Arabian airline. I love SF and Fantasy literature and movies, and spend my free time learning how to become a professional writer.

Remember Chicago?

After a night of icy rain droplets picketing at the window sill, the wind eased up and the snow started to fall towards the morning. The streets got covered in slush by the time I got out of the hotel.

I stuff my nose in the woolen scarf and head on. It’s freezing cold, a more than adequate February weather.

Down Michigan Avenue people are going about their business; a not-crowded Saturday morning with late breakfasts and runners resiliently resisting the weather. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee comes out of each pastry shop I pass by. The “Street Smart” newspaper lady smiles at me. I smile back with a no-thank-you hand raise. I drop a quarter in the old man’s cup, the one living next to the blue pigeons. It’s nine of them this morning, all pacing around, gurgling sounds coming from their bread-crumbs-fattened maws. They seem to keep the old man company. He feeds them and mumbles his usual speech, in a cheerful tone today.

There’s loads of stuff to see, and each time I only have twenty-six hours of sleep-eat-visit time in this city. So I make the most of it today.

In front of the Chicago Tribune I find the newest display of a sculpture by Seward Johnson.

She’s astonishing, as she was in real life. Under arched brows, her eyes are closed; with butterfly lashes paused gently. She’s posing enticingly in a white dress, deep cleavage and blond curls, skirt blowing away with only a few folds reluctantly held by her right hand. Passersby can’t help checking what’s underneath. With her voluptuous legs on high party heels, she seems to have just stepped in our timeline. You seem to hear her contagious laugh, drawing you to her glamorous world, where diamonds are all that matters. She’s a temptress unaffected by the cold windy city.

Half of the Michigan Avenue was her world. They moved her though – from May she’s the Marilyn of California. A sunnier climate does her justice. The old man with the pigeons is now alone, on the other side of the Avenue, in his own world.

There is still a lot left for me to see.

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