EDITOR'S CHOICE
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(Illustration by Leslie Herman)


Bill Dolan’s the name, and I’ve been doorman here at The Condorcet Condominiums at 146 E. Cedar for twenty-six years, it’ll be twenty-seven in August. Before this I was a fireman. I played football at Lane Tech High School. I was a linebacker, third team all-city in 1972, to which I owe the fact that my knees gave out at the age of thirty-six and I had to retire on disability from the Chicago Fire Department. With my small pension from the city and my salary from The Condorcet, I make out all right. My wife Marlene and I live in a bungalow in Jefferson Park on the northwest side, and our two kids are grown and long gone.

I sit behind my reception desk at The Condorcet much of the day, receiving packages, making sure no one gets in who isn’t supposed to, meeting a few requests to run errands for our wealthy owners, watching, you might say, how the other half lives. The Condorcet is located between Rush Street and Lake Shore Drive, with Oak Street beach just to the east. The neighbourhood is what used to be known as the Gold Coast, but Cedar, along with Bellevue and Elm Streets, are what lots people have begun to call the Viagra Triangle, so named because there’s lots of older, financially well-off men with wives or in some cases girlfriends thirty and more years younger than themselves.

Over the years I’ve seen guys with funny, hobbling walks, or even on walkers accompanied by knock-out young women who are definitely not their caregivers, unless you put a very loose interpretation on the word “care”. On Oak Street, site of Jimmy Choo, Prada, Barney’s of New York, retired guys in Ralph Lauren suits hit on older girls from Walter Payton High School in the hope, who knows, of getting lucky. In The Condorcet there is a man named Lou Pearlman, must be in his mid-eighties, been in a wheelchair for some years, who is never seen without his wife Candace, who was once the weather girl on the local NBC station under the name Candy Phillips, better known in those days for her rack than for the accuracy of her forecasts, and who must be forty years younger than he.

On the twenty-sixth floor, in one of the building’s two duplexes — they go for over three million — lives Sheldon Fishman with what I believe is his twenty-five years younger mistress. Three weeks ago, a very high-maintenance blonde, she’s maybe thirty-five, approaches the reception desk, and asks for the floor of Mr Fishman’s apartment. I ask her name, and she tells me Brittany Connors. Fishman asks to have her put on the phone. She calls him Shelly, and laughs loudly at something he’s told her. Before hanging up, she says into the phone, winking at me, “I’ll be right up. Don’t start without me.”

When a few hours later the two of them passed my desk on their way out, Fishman, smiling, in a low voice, says to me, “Chemistry is our most important product.” I’m not sure what the right attitude is to a man who cheats on his mistress.

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