The Chicago winter wind freezes my smile, breaks it into a hundred shards on the ground. Squints my eyes against the flying whatevers it pries from the gutters. I’ve got time on my hands on the Gold Coast and the wind feels milder here.
The elegant, youngish couple glides by heads down, evading my ordinary eyes, kidnapping my attention. The woman, brunette luxury, walks in mink matching her hair. He invites my envy in long leather shearling. Thirty thousand in wardrobe between them. They are levitated by their imagined importance. But I know they’re only dressed up. They’re not the clout. Not on the Gold Coast.
Not the real clout, the real money, the serious, old coin. The fixers. The amassers of power, collectors of the lives of anybody they please, hide 50 stories up. The McCormicks. The Fields. The Rockefeller progeny gaze down at the traffic, at the people who go to work.
They puzzle why anybody would do that. Go to work? They know of no McCormick, Field or Rockefeller who has ever worked, save the founder. Having no relation, parent or cousin, who has ever had a job. In this they share common ground with the permanent poor. Just as dependent, just as unprepared, just as deprived. But they, and we, know they alone have the “screw-you money.”
The brilliant Gold Coast sun bursts from a sapphire sky. Lighting the high-rise mountain peaks. Warming the penthouses. Casting blue-gray shadows on the storefront foothills.
The sun always shines upon the right kind on the Gold Coast.