I have been having so much fun I haven't had time to blog about it! That's the true mark of a fun-haver, isn't it?
Before I launch into an egocentric discussion of how much fun I am, can we just briefly talk about how much Obama fucking pwned in that debate? Because... it was a massacre. If you haven't been, you need to watch CNN for the rest of the debates, because they have this panel of undecided Ohio voters who have these little dials with which they constantly record how they're feeling during any given moment of debate. And they just kept voting "Obama is making me come 100%" the entire time. And sometimes it was okay if you didn't understand what the candidates were saying about Putin because the undecided voters were twisting their little knobs towards Obama like craaazy, and that's all that really mattered in that moment.
I went to Chicago, which was oddly... unsettling. I couldn't put my finger on why, exactly. Walking around Hyde Park by myself was a coffeeshop blend of nostalgic, empty, and wonderful (with maybe a smoky aftertaste).
Alex lives in the apartment I used to live in. I found the silverware with blue handles I bought for my Halloween costume that year (I went as a silverware drawer) and ended up leaving behind; I found the holes in the wall where I hung my DeviantArt-y neon-eclectic acrylic paintings; I found the full-length mirror no one ever bothered to hang up, but in front of which Kim and I took hundreds of vanity photos. All of this was bizarre to me, and I couldn't place what I was feeling. Most of the time I felt annoyingly close to tears, but I'm not sure it was in a bad way.
The nights were good, as they always are in Chicago. We (Nadim, Alex, Kim, plus two, and I) went to the Chicago Diner (where I characteristically dropped $100) and downed SPF-Drunk (lemonade and coconut rum) on Nadim's deck. There were no mosquitoes because in Chicago it is COLD (who knew?), and happy. All I can really say to describe this night is that 1) I learned more about those people during that one dinner than I have ever learned about a group of people during any dinner; and 2) I laughed in a way I had forgotten I knew how to laugh.
Alex took me to Millennium Park, which I had somehow avoided in my entire tenure living in Chicago. MILLENNIUM PARK IS BADASS AND AWESOME AND BADASS AGAIN. And we saw "Nighthawks" together. That was the painting that... well, that painting is the reason Alex and I exist as a pair in any capacity, you know? It's like that hinging factor of our relationship that was too spooky to ignore (it's the one collegiate-cliche poster which has always hung in both our respective bedrooms). Do all the people in the painting know each other? Or not?
Flashback to Thursday. I crashed my bike. You should not be surprised. It was one of those severe bike accidents, where the person is bleeding from his or her head. A man came out of the service station with a dirty napkin to help me clean the blood off my temples and then he said, "Do you want a beer?" And that is when I understood New Orleans.
I guess a San Francisco girl was shot here last week. An activist. It makes us all sad and scared because we can all picture ourselves on her bike. The Murder Blogs here are angry about it, saying we don't care about any of the other dozens of anonymous murders which happen every day to poor, black men. And maybe they're right.
Back in Chicago, Kim and I met a vaguely European 80-year-old man feeding pigeons who were willing to sit on his hands. He didn't speak English, but I said, "I love that you are feeding the birds," and he said, "I love YOU!" and then he showed me with motions how to fill my hands with greasy peanuts to get the pigeons to land on me. It reminded me of London, of course. Walking into Kim's apartment, by the way, was like walking into a part of my heart I have been intentionally ignoring because it's too far away, and too honest.
Today one of my students was arrested. I sat in the thunderstorm with his mom, who was sobbing, telling me he couldn't help it (He hit a cop. Twice.), and we had made so much progress, and she didn't want to lose him, and we had a behavior plan now and EVERYTHING. And I was speechless; I didn't know what to say. I just held her shoulders.
Avery is reading. Really reading. I think it is the proudest he has ever been of an academic achievement. And I don't blame him, because on the scope of great academic achievements in life, "reading" is basically at the top of the list.
I'm weirdly happy to be back in this little city which routinely destroys my vehicles. I like the sticky heat and that everybody at the grocery store wants to talk to you.
I have found a manic peace, as oxymoronic and pretentious as it is. Everything seems to be in steady, forward motion.
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