The Hussies Upstairs: Part 2

J Parker-Skyline-ViewBy Amber Robbin

I emerged from the bathroom, as put together as I’d bother for a humid Windy City day, and merged with the other little black dresses careening around marble corners on a carousel of false, glittering smiles and jewel-toned cocktails. I rounded the bend at the giant glass windows overlooking the seamless lake and passed Nigel on my way outside. He was busy taking orders from a server: “But I had that section last night,” she whined “and I had nothing but two-tops the entire night! Why ya gonna waste one of your best servers on date night, Nigel, when I could be rockin’ that couch section better than any of the girls in here?!”  Continue reading


The Average Millennial Shame Spiral

By Sydney Maier

shame spiralOnce upon a time, there was an average millennial living an average millennial post-grad life. Like other average millennials, she was grossly underpaid, completely unaided by her singular worthless degree, and struggling to feel of any value to herself or the world. (Like the average millennial, she believed the world should find her important and felt slighted by her own smallness.) She, like others, became exceedingly familiar with the 3am shame spiral.

For the above-average millennials who are blissfully unaware, the 3am shame spiral actually begins with the descent around midnight when you realize there are no clean dishes and you’re a failure of an adult. Continue reading

Tall Orders

By Michael Gutgsell


Every evening, after landscaping for my neighbors or playing mannequin for a medical school, I would put on my uniform: skinny black dress pants and a quickly-fading black polo, and bike the five minutes to the Tavern. There I would tie a mini black apron around my waist and insert my black order book into the pocket, complete with my precise formula of change. Then, I would start my shift, making a circle around the room, picking up drink orders and placing down plates of food. I was disappointed to be twenty-three and living at home, squabbling with my parents over stupid things, working in an industry that reminded me how it felt to be “summed up and degraded,” as my journal from that time says. Most of the customers were regulars, and after learning their names and predilections, they often wouldn’t need to open their mouths to have what they wanted placed in front of them. Years after working there, I don’t remember all their names, but I remember their drinks.  Continue reading

The Law Firm Sagas: #5 Non-Fiction

Bare CoveBy Amber Robbin

Normally, Whole Foods is a place that brings me joy, boasting a “guilt-free” hot buffet that smacks of buttery goodness and free samples galore left unattended in generous heaps. It’s a veritable playground for the sometimes-vegetarian (that I am) with yoga mats and fancy lip balms that make the yuppie lifestyle almost desirable. The only downer, normally, are the last few minutes anyone ever spends inside the store, when it becomes all-too-apparent that a more befitting name for the place would be ‘Whole Paycheck.’ Other than that, I associated Whole Foods with perfectly lovely memories – until one night in March. 

On that night, my soul collapsed over a brown box of marshmallow encrusted sweet potatoes. I felt myself being consumed exactly as I was meant to be doing the consuming, eaten alive by my inner swarm of lacking purpose, lacking sense of self, and lacking desire to wake up the next day and go to work – a full eight hours before that task even needed to be confronted. Continue reading