I spent 3 short days in Chicago, drinking and going to restaurants, listening to what David and Dylan said about the restaurant business. Things like the different computer programs they use, they likened the most popular software to Monsanto, a comparison I never could have imagined but I liked the comparison as I thought it over, drinking some cocktail called “The Bees Knees” and seeing the curly haired waitress put my order into the computer, I wondered if anything I was going to eat started as a Monsanto seed.
I had meant to take a bus up to Chicago but, in having lunch with my mother and sister, stopping to buy my sister liquor, I missed my bus. I was excited to go up so I reasoned myself into driving, an activity I thoroughly hate. Why spend six hours with your mind stuck primarily on staying between two lines, on going fast enough to make good time but not so fast you get ticketed, on background music and dangerous texts? There’s a net gain in giving up the freedom of making whatever turns or stops wanted for the freedom to inhabit a small space with a book and a computer, maybe even a wifi connection, and doing whatever you want with that. I like public transportations, to allow some bus driver to whisk you wherever you wish to go and maybe me a strange or interesting stranger on the way. So which method grants greater freedom?
Chicago was good and great. A mixture of Boarding School nostalgia (David was my roommate and inside jokes abound) and the pleasure and scorn of new people. Some woman seemed to hate me just for being there, I repeatedly catch the eye of another girl from two booths over but the eye contact isn’t enough to rouse my from listing old nicknames.
We drink and drink more and talk to their friends who tend bar and find price reductions. We go back to David’s apartment and stay up until there are people running on the track at the East Bank Club and at that point in the night you aren’t even tired, you reason with yourself to go to sleep and try to watch the smoke rising around skyscrapers, hoping that that will somehow make you tired. It had become Friday by that point, though I think the date should change at daylight rather than midnight because that’s what really feels like a day.
We eat at a butcher and watch House of Cards and play video games, repeat the last night, sleep more and wake up with food on all our minds. We have sushi at a wonderful Japanese place called Friends with friendly waitresses and round furniture, off of Dylan’s extensive list of Chicago’s best restaurants (based off of several yelp reviews apiece). Fresh fish and hangovers are an uncommon combination but the cleanliness of the meal gives me a feeling of the same and as we walked the cold air and a single inhale of a cigarette deadened the rest of the pounding in my head. A few more sedentary hours of basking in enjoyable presences and I go to my car, let it thaw and make my way home through a light gray snow, making a stop in Indianapolis to say hello to some of the boys I spent my first (and only) year of college with and one of my best friends. They live with school, beer and Mario kart and it’s a life I very nearly fit in to, if I could have only done my work as I was told to. I still have nostalgia and what if fantasies of how I would have fit into and changed that life. I think even if I got past that first year, I would have inevitably wanted to take off. Even now, after being home for 200 days, I am already struck by wanderlust as if it’s a genetic disease in me.
I got home from Chicago and Indianapolis, slept a few hours, woke up, drove to the airport and eventually found myself in Las Vegas, a queer city with some pretty parts. I doubt I’ve ever drank so much champagne and would be hard pressed to drink so much again. I’m home a week then head to New York.
Greetings from another intermediary.