Jeff Phillips: I Go By Radio

Drinkers with Writing Problems

At quarter of four in the morning I arrived at the Grand Red Line stop. My work shirt was untucked and halfway unbuttoned. I could feel the bags under my eyes spread their dead weight back into my brain, snuffing the day’s remaining electrical charge. I had just worked a moonlight cruise, taking boarding photos of passengers that liquored themselves up in advance. I had already worked the brunch cruise, the afternoon cocktail cruise, and the dinner cruise, but was asked to stay late to cover for a callout. I walked from Navy Pier to the train because by the time I finished draining the effluent from the photo printer and rinsing the machine’s rollers, the buses stopped shuttling for the night. My feet ached from a day hustling tubs of souvenir photos up and down the clusterfuck that is the pier, pounding cheap dress shoes on pavement, further inflaming…

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