You Can’t Surf Lake Michigan

by Thomas Mundt

It’s a Saturday morning in late November and Luis is sick of sitting in his Clark Street office. He hates the way the view from the Thirty-Sixth Floor makes Lake Michigan look like it’s just a big blue brushstroke filling in the gap between Chicago and Northwest Indiana; he can’t stand that the Lake’s only real to Art Institute kids with tight pants and black glasses scrambling to complete long-procrastinated photography assignments. So, he logs out of his computer, dumps his near-frozen coffee in the sink, and takes the elevator to the Twenty-Second Floor, where they keep the extra building supplies. There he helps himself to a large, oblong sheet of particle board and tucks it under his arm as he makes for the building’s exit. Then he gets in his Acura and drives up Lake Shore Drive to a Billy Joel song that used to nauseate him but today calms his stomach like it’s mint tea. Then he exits at Montrose Harbor and discovers rather quickly that you can’t surf Lake Michigan because there aren’t any waves and a man standing on a piece of particle board just sinks and sinks until his slacks and loafers are ruined.


Thomas Mundt lives in Chicago. His meager catalogue is being not-so-meticulously assembled for your convenience here.