8: high school

(Last paragraph or two is kinda depressing, so you might want to put that off.)

I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing lately. Maybe it’s my imminent visit to New York, but memories of Brearley have been sneaking up on me all week. They’ve been pleasant for the most part, but occasionally the bad one sneaks in. It’s funny now, but I can remember being traumatized for weeks at a time. No wonder I listened to The Smiths as much as I did. I still do, but I can’t take Morrissey at face value anymore. I can’t believe I did in the first place.

High school was great, but I’m either unlucky or stupid because dumb shit would just happen to me. Por ejemplo, getting pink eye from my senior year Spanish teacher. Getting whumped in the head in dodgeball in eighth grade gym class. Doing plays at Collegiate — believe me, you haven’t lived until you’ve had to prance about in a clown costume in front of 200 hundred high school boys. Singing in a fake Russian accent. Without your glasses.

But I still insist upon visiting Brearley when I go back next week. I’m bringing Nadine with me. She can commiserate with me about being poor at a ritzy school. It’ll be fun, I swear. Nadine, if you’re reading this now, you should know that the food in the cafeteria is excellent. We can steal some rolls while we’re there.

So, those of you who are in New York and wish to see me, let me know now. I’m going to be there for a week. I don’t see myself staying with my parents much (unbeknownst to them, ha ha) but you can leave messages with them. I’ll e-mail you their phone number in a minute. I’ll also be checking e-mail while I’m there, so you can always reach me that way.

I hung out at Kevin’s Friday night, and decided that the best way to get there was to take the Armitage bus. 45 minutes of waiting has brought me to the conclusion that the Armitage bus drivers are evil, crack-smoking wankers. 4 buses went east, none of them came back. Maybe it was my fellow would-be passengers, as they were some scary lookin’ motherfuckers.

1. Two (2) dirty men in torn sweaters and dirty pants.

2. Large woman with long grayish-brown hair clipped back with a large silver barrette. She wore a purple and white striped top, purple-knit skirt, and carried a Sports Authority bag as her purse. She kept wandering into the street to look out for the bus, but I’m convinced that the more she did this, the more she scared the bus away. She was one scary-lookin’ broad.

3. Small woman, in her 50s or 60s, wearing a tight, knit two piece dress. White glitter platform sandals. She called to passing cars. I think she was a hooker.

The Trixies walking past (and there were Trixies, because I was standing on the corner of Armitage and Sheffield) seemed to sneer in disdain. I wasn’t sure if it was at me in particular, because I thought I looked kind of cute.

Speaking of cute, my favorite beauty product store, Bravco, just expanded into the second floor of the building it currently occupies on Oak Street. I bought a lot of Aveda when I visited on Saturday. My hair is thanking me as I type.

I think Saturday was a cute day for me, but you’ll have to ask Kevin and Michael just to be sure, as I spent the entire day with them. We had brunch at Wishbone, hit Bravco, then checked out the Sol LeWitt exhibit at the MCA. The exhibit was beautiful, but I think I enjoyed the Tom Friedman a bit more. As Kevin put it (kind of), let’s hear it for an artist with a sense of humor. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a tab of aspirin with a face etched into it. Or an upside-down map of the United States, every city, mountain, and stream labeled correctly. Or a dead man made out of construction paper.

There were lots of cute people out on Saturday, but I couldn’t enjoy myself knowing that, at any moment, the cute people would shift and I would be surrounded by suburbanites wearing “Who farted?” t-shirts, wraparound sports sunglasses, and floral print sweatpants cut into shorts. So you can see why it was important for me to look cute — I can’t blow people’s minds by myself. But I wasn’t really alone — Kevin and Michael were in effect.

Holy snap, I can’t believe I just used “in effect”. “Holy snap”? Oh shit, it must be Old School Monday. Appropriate, given that I’ve already heard U.T.F.O.’s “Roxanne Roxanne” today. In fact, it’s playing right now.

Saturday night — co-worker’s surprise birthday dinner at Joe’s Bebop cafe on Navy Pier. The restaurant is not conducive to intimate conversation, so a lot of yelling was necessary. They serve a lot of brightly colored drinks. I’ve never seen a joint so dependent on blue curacao. Someone had the bright idea to give some of the smaller children in the restaurant pairs of drumsticks. Like boozehound groupies, the kids wandered around in a haze, clutching their drumsticks and hissing “The band was looking at ME.”

Well, that’s pretty much it. Sunday was typical — hanging around in pajamas, “Sex and the City” at Kevin’s, in bed by 11pm. Of course, I listened to sad music yesterday. I had missed “Breakfast with The Beatles” on WCKG, so I put on “With The Beatles” while I ate breakfast. When “I Wanna Be Your Man”, I got all sad because my love life consists of a series of useless crushes. At which point, I lay down and stuck my head under my pillow.

Later, while I was cleaning my room, Liz Phair’s “I Know It’s Not Easy” (go to http://www.liz-phair.com/lyrics.htm for lyrics — you’ll have to scroll down a bit) popped into my head. If you are familiar with that song, then you know that yesterday afternoon was not good. Maybe it was the influence of my depressing roommate and her passive aggression? Maybe it was just a bad patch. So it was nice to get the hell out of my apartment and go hang out with some people who make me happy.

Let’s hear it for friends.

And when I walk it’s a riot
You should see the commotion
A hundred people drowning in oceans inside me
(Liz Phair)


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