Mr. Jose-Maria

Before I continue, I want to acknowledge something: I am weird. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even when I’m in public, that doesn’t stop me from being weird. I dance in public at the beach very unskillfully, I walked straight into a window, I walked into a pole, I’m all around weird. Or I’m just really over the top...or obnoxious. Anyway, I’m not afraid to be weird and over the top here. Chicago has that certain vibe where you can be strange and not be judged for it. So I, as a weirdo, love that about Chicago.

One day, being a lazy person, I was sitting down on the bench at the Crown Fountain, gasping for air.

Quick little history lesson here: Crown Fountain was designed by a Spanish artist by the name of Jaume Plensa. Its purpose was to show the diversity of Chicago itself.

Sorry, lesson over, back to the story.

It was around 9:40 at night and I was so tired. I had walked all over Chicago. And do you know what a smart individual like myself decided to do? Wear flats! Round of applause, please.

We were waiting for our mom to pick us up so we could go straight home. The moon was high in the sky, the leaves were rustling, cars were beeping, and, to top it all off, there was the water from the fountain. I, at this point, was falling asleep.  

Then, something caught my eye. This man across the fountain had this huge mustache. My family and I are in LOVE with Super Mario. We grew up playing Super Mario so, for this guy to have a mustache that look almost exactly like Super Mario’s... I went into full fangirl mode.

He was very lean, and he wore a white shirt, black pants, and some weird looking shoes. Overall, he was average looking. For the time being, let’s call him Mr. Jose-Maria.

He was walking around for a while and just doing his thing. I looked away for like a second and he had so many kids running after him. I don’t even know how… I looked away for a second!

These kids were throwing water at him and he would return every water splash. Keep in mind, these kids were here before I even got there. He would try to outrun them but, there were six kids running behind him. Then, he fell. I cannot tell you how loud everyone laughed, himself included. I laughed, even though I had been sleepy a couple minutes before. I was so entertained just like everyone there.

He fell two more times but, the fourth time he fell, the kids tackled him, and even from the bottom of the pile, he was still throwing water at them.

We all had a good time.

That’s what Chicago is.

Chicago is this place where you can be goofy, silly, and obnoxious and still be accepted. Chicago is a place where art is treasured. Chicago is a place where sports are valued. Where kids know how to have a good time. Where a good taco place doesn’t go unnoticed. Here, talent does not go unnoticed. Even one as simple as keeping a mustache very clean and smooth.

Chicago is full of talent. You just have to stop looking at the negatives instead of the positives and you’ll realize this soon.

From the 826CHI Student Publication: A Flower Blooming in the Dark

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