The man and his dog in the planter parkway at Congress and Plymouth Court
You are driving west on Congress. Cars are stacked four lanes deep trying to get onto the major expressways. Stopping at the light at Plymouth Court, you see a man and his dog. Like beings shipwrecked on a small raft, they cling to a small strip of cement parkway, barely protected from the speeding cars. A man in his late twenties or thirties with a large, dirty backpack is holding a sign, “HOMELESS. PLEASE HELP.” The dog with him is not a purebred or a puppy, but a mixture of black, white and brown fur. Much of its hair and face is grey. Its legs are spindly. The two are more than just sitting together. They are almost enveloped in each other’s bodies, clinging as one against the speeding cars. You hold out a five. As the man walks not more than four feet to your car window, the dog begins to shake. He stares at his master, desperate, alone, scared in the face of so many whizzing cars. For him, those few seconds seem like an eternity. The man returns to the concrete island and the man and dog embrace, together again, facing the world. Your five dollars will not be spent on beer.
Best of Chicago 2016