Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Brief History of the Previous Two Months, as Told in Lists

Things I am good at:

No-bake cookies
Crying in the work bathroom
Asking personal questions
Always smelling a little bit like vagina
Not saying the r word
Worrying what other people think of my sexual choices
Riding my bike
Going to Home Depot
Going to Trader Joe’s
Generalized anxiety disorders
Buying incense 
Being a Virgo
Asking the sweet-faced doctor if, as she pulls out my IUD, my friend can come in the room and watch
Wondering if everyone is hanging out without me
Wearing little almost-training bras in a weird but not sexually inappropriate way
Watching Soul Train
Making myself at home

Saturday, February 1, 2014

On running and inside rooms

Sometimes when I’m running I get to see people’s inside rooms. One morning on 17th Street, just past Carpenter, a woman cut her daughter’s hair before school with the front door open. The morning was very dark and cool, and the light from the room was very warm. It caught on the scissors and winked, which made me slow my pace to turn my head and see. The hair of the girl was black: she sat still in a chair and looked east.

Another morning I woke earlier than normal because I had to take the bus to Madison, so when I came around the curve of Archer Ave to run underneath the long overpass between Halsted and Canal, it wasn’t yet six. I passed by fire after fire in the dark, set back from the sidewalk and the fly of cars, surrounded by blue shadows shaped like men. They were talking to each other in low voices but I didn't stop to listen, even though I wanted to, because these are private spaces and eavesdropping is rude.

Monday, January 13, 2014

On dating, Part 2

The last time I went on a date it was mid September. I took the bus down Western to take another bus so I could make it to a Brain Frame event in the Co-Prosperity Sphere. I want to say here that I resent things with names that mean nothing but hint at peace and wellness, but I was trying to be Well Behaved because I was On A Date, so I didn’t make fun of the CS. Before arriving at the Sphere, my date and I met over at Maria’s. The gentlemen in question was very nice, although rather pallid, and we were really close to understanding each other’s sense of humor, so I’d say it was a fine and reasonable date. On our walk from Maria’s to the Sphere, I only noticed his lisp once or twice.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The things I think about on a Chicago-bound train on Christmas night.

I'm riding the 355 back to Chicago on Christmas night and everyone on the cafe car is shaped like an ornament. The exception is the gentleman wearing the purple cammo bandana and a mustache like a stain of chocolate milk if chocolate milk was made of pubic hair. He looks a lot like Pornstache from Orange is the New Black so I automatically want to push him off the train. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thoughts on my toenails

Look, it's me! Courtesy of
There’s nothing like waking up at 5:30 in the morning to soak your ingrown toenails for fifteen to twenty minutes in warm saltwater gathered in your one good kitchen bowl. Just before my alarm goes off, I wake up in the darkness and listen to everybody and how they wake up, inside my building and out. For example, my neighbors below me rise every weekday morning at 5am. They turn on the tv to something newsy and Spanish-speaking and take showers. Ears pressed against my futon and foam mattress combination, I can hear it all, but dimly: the sound of the water pipes running on and off, the man speaking gently, the woman speaking gently, the sound of his heavy boots walking on their kitchen floor.

These sounds are a very comforting and familiar thing to hear, reminding me as they do of my own childhood, when I would wake up on my own at about 6:30 or so to tiptoe down the stairs in the winter dark. I’d watch watch Ms. Frizzle or The Weather Channel, which I loved, and my dad would make oatmeal with a lot of brown sugar and then the sun would rise and we’d all go to school. Now I’m an adult and I wake up at 5:30 to write and to try to home-remedy away a physical manifestation of my emotional duress.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On strangers from Michigan

She is drinking Patrón and pineapple juice. He is drinking pint-sized glasses of rum and Coke. He has tattoos on his arms and one tiny hoop pierced on the cheekbone just to the side of each eye, like tears. She has tattoos, but only in “private places,” and she wants a nose hoop like mine.

The last two facts I learn with my broken headphones in, following the talk of these strangers with one ear while listening to music with the other. It is 4 o’clock on a Monday afternoon, and I’m sitting at the bar in Simone’s. I went to have a beer and use their free wifi to write and to try and find a way out of my poor financial status. Instead, I get picked up for sex work. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

“What Was Is Not Irrelevant”: Public Art in Humboldt Park

The following post first appeared over at General Admisison, a podcast dedicated to discussing and discovering art in Chicago. Check it out, yo. 

This past February I went on an unsatisfactory date with a gentleman who used to sleep in my bedroom. I thought he was a liar, but after listening to him describe the door to the fire escape located to the left of my bed, I decided that he was a creep who was maybe going to kill me.

“No!” he shouted when I asked him if this was the case. My date then proceeded to describe the mural across the street from my house, down to the burning cop car. This made me believe him, although I had never noticed the car he spoke of. I had only noticed the flames.

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You wouldn't be interested in a soldier who was only a little brave.