Life at an Intersection

Chicago Phoenix, indemnity bonds, journaling, really really really want a zigazig ah, travel, books, travel books, relationships, values. It is hard to pinpoint precisely, but I'd say about 82% of what you read here is true. The rest is fictional nonfiction.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cleaning House

I started cleaning off my bookshelves this evening.

This is an unprecedented event. I'm a bit of a book hoarder. But it is time to face up to the fact that I'm never actually going to get around to reading Uncle Tom's Cabin in its entirety. And I'm just not going to revisit He's Just Not That Into You. (All I needed from that one was to read the chapter titles anyway.) Two sets of The Chronicles of Narnia? Not necessary. Anything that my uncle ever gave me that I didn't request specifically? Sweet but superfluous. Goodbye Max Lucado, Anne Rice, Dorian Gray, and a couple of children's books that I picked up in my thrift store travels that turn out to be pretty creepy.

I need to hire one of those life coaches or personal assistants or someone who can come to my increasingly piled-upon apartment/shoebox and help me simplify and declutter and get ready for a move. I can't really afford that right now, so I'm gonna make Sofie come help me instead.


She owes me, because last night I took her to the Joffrey Ballet for her birthday to see their production of Cinderella. It was fantastic. I kept getting confused yesterday and telling people that I was taking her to the opera. I've never seen either of those types of performances before (no, Hofia, Phantom of the Opera does not count), so I was excited either way. It was magnificent, and she had a great birthday, people making her feel special all day.

I'm really elated right now because Evan Lysacek just won the men's figure skating gold medal in Vancouver. I've got a mad crush.

There's other news. I know where I'm being transferred to when my bank branch closes in three weeks. I've applied to two graduate school programs, thinking about going for a third. I've found a wonderful new place to hang out. Oh, and I got a new rug. I love rugs.

Just kind of enjoying life

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Being in Edgewater


Being single is no reason to ruin a perfectly good Valentine's Day tradition, so I took the bus up to my old 'hood this afternoon and ate lunch at Ben's Noodles and Rice. It is the perfect neighborhood Thai restaurant: tiny, endearing, sweet staff, disarming and charming in its simplicity. When I lived and worked in that neighborhood, I used to help the owner/operator in the bank and eat at his restaurant with a fair amount of regularity. So we were friendly. I know that he doesn't remember me any longer, but I still feel such a warm, family feeling when I see him again.

Being a man of routines and regulations - dare I say inertia - eating Valentine's dinner at the most comfortable spot that I can think of seems ideal to me. Why would I want to go somewhere starchy or stuffy for a celebration of the warm fuzzies? That seems pretty antithetical to me. So Ben's was the tradition. I like it; I'm keeping it.

Being in the old neighborhood today, though, man, that almost put me over the edge. It is on the up-and-up, that's for sure. There's a few new restaurants and a couple of nice looking shops. Reza's deli is still there, but he wasn't behind the counter when I went by. That man is a precious soul, a shot of whiskey and a warm hug in human form. He'd drive you crazy, but how could you not love him? Walking past my old bank - the place where I spent so many stressful hours learning how to make small talk, how to multi-task like the mother of septuplets, how to negotiate relationships with coworkers with whom I didn't have a straw of commonality, where I made overtime - I get a thrill. I remember those coworkers, our motley crew, and our fun times together. Geez, those were great times. Walking past Bryn Mawr Care and remembering the gargoyle, that scary man who crouched on the sidewalk, looking frail enough that you could imagine a slight breeze would topple him. Strolling past my old building, still being managed by The Future. I loved that apartment. It was a tiny palace, a sweet cocoon; it was a perfect home for me.

Being away from home in every possible sense for the first time, totally disconnected from the previous 26 years of my life, this neighborhood gave me freedom. I have this strong sense that in some nebulous, impossible to define way, this neighborhood made me who I am today. I'm a little rough around the edges, I'm good with diversity, I keep to myself but make sweet, lasting connections, I'm quieter than some but more outspoken than many. I squeeze past a trio of Eastern European women on the sidewalk; they are sitting on the padded seats of their walkers with their hair in kerchiefs, speaking a language that I'll never know or care to know.

Being the crazy person that I am, I have another strong sense that I initially resist, but eventually have to admit aloud, here, to you, now: I've got to get myself out of this city.

Currently Watching
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mountain, Lake


Magenta leaned forward as she moved to the edge of the chaise lounge, resting her elbows on her knees and covering her face with her hands. "My dream last night, Carey. It was not good."

"What happened? Would you like to describe it for me?"

"Well, first of all, I was hanging out at my friend's apartment last night. I've told you about Lurie, right? Yeah, so I went over to her house to watch the finals of the Australian Open. Actually, we went out to this swanky place to watch the match because Lurie read in the shitty daily free paper that they were having a viewing party."

"What place?"

"The Browbeater. Ever heard of it? No, okay, so I've never been there either. But when we got there it was completely crowded, and the host asked if we had a reservation, and we totally didn't. So we left, no room at the inn. We just wandered back down the street and couldn't find the match playing anywhere else, so we ended up back at her place."

"Did you have a nice time?"

"Oh sure, we ordered take out and cheered for Andy Roddick and talked during the commercials. Actually, that's one of the things that must have triggered this dream."

"What was?"

"Well, she asked about Walleye. She said that she was curious, wanted to see what he looked like."

"Do you talk about him often with her?"

"No, almost never. I mean, why would I, right?"

"Understandable. But he is a big part of your recent past."

"Granted. And I guess that must be why she is interested. I mean, we go out together on the weekends. We meet guys. She tries to get me to describe my 'type.' 'What kind of guys do you go for...' You know, stuff like that. I don't really have a type; I just like what I like."

"So you say. Anyway, she asked to see Walleye."

"Yeah, so I was like, log on to my Facebook page. There's some random pictures of him on there. Not much, since - this is kind of funny, actually - I didn't even join Facebook until after we broke up. Before I was kind of lazy about it. Keeping up with people, I mean. I let him give me updates on our mutual friends and made him keep me posted on the lives of the people we met and got to know in common. So, anyway, she logs on to my page and starts flipping through my photos."


"And that's it. There he was. Walleye in Indonesia with me and a group of our friends. Tiny Walleye at the base of Chichen Itza. That's it. Big deal."

"What did Lurie say?"

"It doesn't matter. Nothing. What matters is, he was in my head. And then he was in my dream."

"So tell me about your dream, then."

"We were driving. It was the two of us. The absurd rules of dreaming were in full effect, though, because while I am one-hundred percent sure that he was driving the Volkswagon minibus in which we were riding, I am also quite sure that we were both sitting on a flat floor covered in green astroturf."


"And we were driving through these mountains. Beautiful mountains. Sharp peaks, amazing views. The scenery was spectacular, flying around these bends in the road. And Carey, Walleye and I, we were, you know, together."

"Okay. Can you remember how you felt about that?"

"I felt safe. I felt wanted. I felt like things were back where they were supposed to be. I remember seeing this lake up in the mountains; I guess we were driving around it. I remember how peaceful, calm, and perfectly serene it looked. I think that I felt like that lake."

"Magenta, were you in control of this dream? I mean, did you ever feel like you were directing the events that were occurring?"

"I know what you are talking about, Dr. Carey. Lucid dreaming, right? No, it wasn't like that at all. Because here's how the dream ended: he killed us."

"What do you mean, he killed you? How?"

"He was accelerating too quickly, we were coming up on this overlook, this enormous curve in the road high over the lake. And he just floored it. I remember the feeling, the thrilling few seconds after we left the road and the vehicle flew out into the open air. It was exhilarating, nothing short. And then the reality, the panic, the terror: we were going to die. I was dead. He killed me."


"Wow for sure. And then I woke up. I made myself wake up. I didn't want to die. You know they say that if you ever die in your dream, you die in real life, too. Like your brain thinks that you are really dead. So you are."

"The awareness of this obviously didn't escape you."

"That dreaming about Walleye killing me could have killed me? No, it didn't escape me at all."

Currently Listening to:
Kings of Leon, Only By the Night

Twitter / Davie_St

Words That I'm Living By - 5/2/2010

Time, as I've known it
Doesn't take much time to pass by me
Minutes into days, turn into months
Turn into years, they hurry by me
But still I love to see the sun go down
And the world go around

Dreams full of promises
Hopes for the future, I've had many
Dreams I can't remember now
Hopes that I've forgotten,
faded memories
But still I love to see the sun go down
And the world go around

And I love to see the morning
as it steals across the sky
I love to remember and
I love to wonder why
And I hope that I'm around
so I can be there when I die
When I'm gone

I hope that you will think of me
In moments when you're happy and you're smiling
That the thought will comfort you
On cold and cloudy days
if you are crying
And that you'll love to see
the sun go down
And the world go around
And around and around

"Around and Around" by Mark Kozelek

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