In retrospect, it may have been a bit later than we should have been out. At least in that part of town. However, I was consumed with other priorities during the day and the only time I could show my friend the windy city's architectural wonders was after dark. We made our way through the seemingly deserted streets where occupants seemed to exist solely in the shadows of night. Naïveté was our virtue.
"Look over there!" I exclaimed, pointing at a rat scurrying across the sidewalk just in front of us. "There's your big city experience right there."
We walked another block to South State Street when a man on a bicycle bumped into us. Deliberately and with force. He then shouted obscenities and proceeded to accuse us of being on hard drugs. Crack, in particular. An audience of souls blithely waiting at a bus stop nearby continued to be transfixed by their smartphones, clearly avoiding any acknowledgement of the conflict brewing in their midst. Perhaps they had seen it all before...
"Well, this will be interesting" I thought to myself.
The man, clearly looking to provoke anyone or anything, dismounted his bike and threw it violently to the ground in front of us. The wheels continued to spin as he then paced back-and-forth pounding on his chest with all the bravado he could muster. I knew my friend had taken wen-do but I had no self-defence training. I scanned the area for a storefront that might be open. Perhaps a bodybuilder or two would conveniently be shopping there at this hour.
We continued to ignore him and the man lost interest as quickly as he started antagonizing us. "There's your big city experience right there" I thought to myself.