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The Summer of Living Dangerously: A writer’s remembrance

Living Arrangements, Summer Romance No Comments »

By Martin Northway

It was an L-shaped second-floor apartment in Old Town with a bay window in the crook of the L. It looked southeast with a clear view of the Hancock. My Shaker-simple desk was placed such that I was backed against the gorgeous view. I would pound at my typewriter—no computer as of yet—and fling crumpled wads of paper on the floor till the end of the day because I didn’t have a wastebasket.

It was my summer of writing dangerously. Grieving estrangement from my ex-wife and family in southern Indiana, I’d come back to Chicago’s South Side, labored a while as an A/V scriptwriter along Michigan Avenue and thrown that aside for the urgent need to simplify and write short fiction. The landlord was desperately trying to sell the building and most tenants had fled, but Bad Penny had friends there and brokered a space for me. Cheap, no lease, and the neighborhood was gentrifying all around St. Michael’s “Catlick” Church, whose bell extolled its provenance on the hour. Read the rest of this entry »