an empty Chicago – what’s the norm?

an empty Chicago – what’s the norm?

It’s Friday night. On a normal day, Chicago would be bustling with activity.

On a normal day, partygoers and club enthusiasts line up outside the bars and clubs, the girls wearing too-short dresses and skirts huddling for warmth while men group together to take a shot from their hidden flask.

On a normal day, cars would be honking and cursing at each other trying to get through the impossible Friday night traffic.

On a normal day, music would pound from each streetcorner, whether it be from the clubs or from a party at someone’s home.

On a normal day, some may be waiting outside for a table at their favorite Friday night restaurant.

This wasn’t a normal day, nor a normal year. It’s been like this for months now.

Last Friday, some friends and I took a bike ride around one in the morning around the city. It was strange. There were only a few cars that popped up that seemed to only be meandering through the city. We spotted a few people walking, but they had no course of action either.

Except one guy. He saw us riding and ran over and yelled out that he was selling an assortment of drugs. We quickly rode away, laughing awkwardly.

Is this the norm now? In the coming days, Illinois will begin reopening. But it will take a lot for people to return to normalcy after dealing with the unknown for nearly two months.

Jessica Mack

Jessica Mack has been writing and editing for over three years. She was previously promoted to Co-Editor in Chief for Crook & Folly, DePaul University's Literary & Arts Magazine, beginning in September of 2020. She also is a Social Media Intern for Becky Sarwate, previous president of the Illinois Woman's Press Association and author of Cubsessions. Jessica also reviews books and discusses current issues on her blog, Jess Because I Can. Previously, Jessica was Section Editor of Flash Fiction for Crook & Folly and Literary/Editorial Operations Intern for the Chicago Writers Association. For the 2018-'19 school year, she was Co-Editor in Chief of the Joliet Junior College Blazer Newspaper. Because of her leadership, the Blazer was 2018 Best-In-Show at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association annual fall contest and received six 2018 Awards for Excellence in Illinois Community College Newspapers in Division I. Jessica is currently on track to graduate with her Bachelors degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at DePaul University in June of 2021. She spends her spare time reading, cuddling with her cats Theo and Nelly (named respectively from A Haunting of Hill House), playing video games and bicycling on the Chicago lakefront.

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Jessica's bookshelf: favorites

The Hunger Games
it was amazing
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The Fault in Our Stars
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Eragon
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The Lightning Thief
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Divergent
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