My Kind of Town

My relationship with Chicago? It’s like Scottie and Judy in Vertigo. I keep trying to make her into New York. She tries too. What else are we going to do on a Friday night?

Now, I am not most people. I am not some people. I am not even those people. I am a person. A person who enjoys the pre- and post- more than the experience itself. Preparation and retrospection, these are the pleasures. So! A night on the Chi-town. I have taken out three potential sweaters and spread them flat on the bed. Which one will make heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals want to get sexual with me? Or want to be me? Coveting is humanity’s only hobby.

The contestants are: a pink one with black French words and squiggles (100% acrylic, which means if I stand next to a heater I’ll start on fire), a green one with huge gray numbers on it (I’ve always said it looks like something a character in a 1992 Spanish textbook illustration would wear – his name would be Amador, don’t you think?), and a striped v-neck looker that belongs in a Patrick Nagel print. I’m not that international tonight, so I pick the third one. Actually I pick the second one until I’m about to leave; then I change into the third one.

It is fuckin’ cold. The weather is a spiteful monk who has decided everyone should be indoors meditating, not outside titillating. I walk the downtown streets, keeping my coat open as long as possible to give optimum exposure to my obscure style.

All dressed up and no one to be.

The more certain I am of God, the less certain I am of myself…a tall ladder leaning against a building, waiting to be used, but grateful for something strong to rely upon. I remember when this started: God squatted down, put his hands on my shoulders, looked in my eyes and said, “I’d like for you to come with me. Would you like that?” I was thinking about nodding when I spotted a box of donuts behind him. After eating them all and throwing up, he asked me again and I said yes that time. But now, two years after, I still tell myself I want the donuts, even though I don’t…I want to know what I am and what I want, and go for it.

I have been walking for an hour and a half, in steel-toe boots (which would be suitable if I was playing kickball with a bowling ball) and a v-neck sweater (my v is numb)…while the cold hunts down my body heat and has its way with it. Why aren’t I in bed, not dreaming about Chicago? 

It’s time to leave. I don’t like this city. It wants to be something it’s not.