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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010



That's the correct demonym for residents of Phoenix. Makes me feel like a Harry Potter character to say it.

I'm at one of those coffeehouses where the staff feels that they are just too cool, the people just kind of sit around and look at each other, and the music is a bit too loud for comfortable conversation. That's okay since I'm just here relaxing on my own, whiling away a few Sunday afternoon hours.

At the moment, I'm the third wheel housemate, so I'm trying not to be around all the time. That's a bit of a challenge since I'm still living out of boxes and don't really know anyone here or many cool places to go. This Friday the other rent boy will be moving out, I'll be moving in to my bedroom and getting settled a bit, and it will be just me and the man with the mortgage left. The two Davids. We still haven't worked out the name issue yet. I mean, it isn't a problem for us since neither of us are in the habit of speaking in the third person, but it does seem to be tripping other people up a bit.

Yesterday I found the Asian supermarket. It is a way better one-stop destination for Taiwanese food than anything that we had in Chicago. They have my tea - which I needlessly super stocked-up on before moving - bagged and bottled varieties, they have the kind of frozen fried rice that I used to buy, they have the perfect green onion pancakes for making dan bing, they have the lychee jellies and a nice variety of ramen noodles. I'm really happy.


Oh yeah, I'm really happy. I love it here. This can always change, right, and I've only been here a little more than a week. But for right now I feel like I've made a really great move. There's palm trees everywhere. My nose is really red right now because I did some tanning in the backyard after church this morning. The nightlife places that I've been to so far have been great. People are so friendly. It is 95 degrees and awesome. School starts in a couple of days, and I'm excited about all of the possibilities that holds. I met with the program director last week, and it was such an encouraging meeting.

I'm on Pacific Time now, so stop texting me so friggin' early. Thanks.

The drive here! I almost forgot, there's been so much to do in the last week. The drive was - unexpectedly - wonderful. I got to see so much more of Illinois than ever before, had some crazy weather in Missouri, sang Carrie Underwood at the top of my lungs while loving the beautiful crossing of Oklahoma, picked up Elizabeth Annette in Texas, was wowed by the subtle beauties of New Mexico, and then we rolled into Arizona through some really cool red dust storms and amazing mountain terrain, right on in to Phoenix.


Money sucks, the spending of it, the lack of it coming in.

I bought a car! I had to; school is about 30 minutes away from my lovely Central Phoenix neighborhood. She is the same shade of red as the lipstick the every little girl paints her face with when she first breaks into her mother's cosmetic cabinet to begin experimenting. That bright, sort of tacky red. I named her Truvy, but you can call her Miss Truvy. As in, "Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair." She is an Oldsmobile Alero, which I am certain makes my GM-pensioned Grandpa and Grandma smile down on me from Heaven (and hopefully watch over me since she has 140,000+ miles on her engine).

So that's a bit of a rambling update from me. I did it. All of those spoken and unspoken threats to you, Chicago, that I was going to leave you: fulfilled. All of those songs that I heard and thought would make great driving away music, I sang 'em. All the ways that I told myself that I should make my life better, I'm going to do them. I started last week, and I'm not going to stop.

I don't think I can overstate the importance of these words to me in the last couple of months: "Decide what to be, and go be it." Thanks, Avetts. I have, and I will.

And just to add insult to injury, when I get on my feet a little more, money-wise, I'm going to get a scooter. I am.

Currently Listening to
MGMT's Oracular Spectacular

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Chicago


I'm sure I tell this story all of the time. I'm sure you are sick of hearing it. But here I go again.

I remember so clearly the day that I first came to Chicago to live. Moving truck cresting the Chicago Skyway, crossing the Illinois state line, first glimpses of the impressive architectural feats of the downtown of this monstrous city that was going to kill or be conquered. I remember driving up Lake Shore Drive on the most beautiful late summer mid-afternoon that has ever been. I remember passing that sleek starship that we call Soldier Field, being overwhelmed by the verdant Grant Park on my left, thinking that the blue of Lake Michigan was the most impressive, most fabulous, most alive color that I had ever seen. Sailboats dotted the blue; my heart raced with anxiety, wonder, joy. There were beaches, there were skyscrapers, there were people everywhere.

To say I was overwhelmed doesn't do justice. I guess I was gobsmacked.

Living in this city now for three years - three trying, rewarding, wonderful, awful years - has not yet robbed me of the wonder that I felt that first day. I still love to look out the windows of the Brown Line L train as it crosses the Chicago River into downtown. I still love the skyline views from the beach at Fullerton and the Museum Campus. I still love walking up and down Broadway and Clark and Milwaukee and Michigan and Belmont and Randolph. I still love the parks and the restaurants and the theatres, and the people still make me roll my eyes and laugh. The hearty, strange Midwestern people. The city people. The people of amazing ethnicities and difficult languages.

I am excited about my big move. My life is going to change in large, fundamental ways. But I'm worried. I know this city now. I know my parts of it well. We've reached a level of comfortable stasis. I'm worried that I'll never be able to walk to work again. I'm worried that I won't find tacos al pastor that I love as much as the ones at Buena Vista. I'm worried that no Gay Pride Parade can ever compare. I'm worried that I won't find good thrift stores and won't like the nightlife and won't have any Muslim coworkers and will have to drive, like, everywhere, like, all the time.

Thank you, Chicago. Thank you for three beautiful years of life. Please don't forget me.

"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"

Photo courtesy of LAP Photography. Copyright 2005.

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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