Friday, June 15, 2007

Surreal: Chicago, day 5 (part 2)

“Look at your laptop!” Elle exclaimed. “It’s so tiny and pretty!”

And here I am in the land of music and art, a stark contrast to those scientists who tended to own laptops newer and better than sweet Nick.

Elle has long lived in Andersonville – an adorable neighborhood a bit north of the city. I have always associated the location with her, having never visited until she moved here. But we go in the little stationary shop, have burgers or crepes or cinnamon rolls, and wander around until we end up flopped on her futon and staring at everything she keeps on the walls.

She and Tom have moved since the last time I was here, probably more than 2 years ago. Their current apartment is smaller than the one she lived in before they married, but it’s more theirs than hers. I find that rather lovely, though it’s certainly crowded. I tend toward cluttered spaces myself, so all the stuff everywhere – CDs, books, crafts, paintings, pictures, instruments, furniture, fish, pretties – is more charming than frightening.

I arrived early, spending time in the Starbucks where I currently sit, reading a book until Tom called and directed me to the apartment when he got home from work. I walked, everything hurting from the marathon of “see this! Take its picture!” that happened yesterday morning and changed into pajamas after he showed me around their tiny space.

Elle arrived home shortly after, still stressed from her day at work. After a lovely dinner Tom threw together from things in their home, he left to prepare for a show, while Elle and I planned to join him later. She promised she had directions and I braced myself for an unpleasant trip. A fantastic navigator, she is not, though her other talents and personality quirks more than compensate. After getting lost only twice and sitting through miserable traffic on 90/94, we finally arrived at what appeared to be a terribly dilapidated church.

“I’m sorry.” She said before we went in. “It was hard to get here and you’re tired and it’s going to be loud. So I’m sorry.” I waved her off and followed behind her carefully.

When we arrived, paid the requested donation, then went around the back of the altar/stage area, we found seats behind Tom and I counted 10 people in the room (counting the sound guy and performers). The neon Jesus on the cross was…disturbing. As were the pictures of what I can only assume were demons on the walls.

“This,” I said to Elle, “is surreal. It could be the weirdest thing I’ve ever done.” She laughed, seemingly unimpressed with the oddity of the venue, and we continued to sip the sodas we brought.

“Oh, no.” I murmured as the man on stage sang something about how “I’m a solider, you’re a solider, we’re all soliders… Waaaaa (note change) aaaaah.” Then proceeded through the same part (champion, hero, wanderer, etc. We were, apparently, a whole lot of stuff.), “I spilled soda in my Burberry purse!” As I found tissues and mopped up in the dim room, I sighed. “I’m so going to have nightmares.” I offered softly, then scolded myself for being a bad sport.

Guy with guitar and glasses played one last song – something about being lonely and wanting to get with various people. The one line I remember spoke of how he’d stopped brushing his teeth because it’d be so long since he’d been kissed. Elle and I discussed it this morning and agreed that oral hygiene should always remain independent of romantic prospects. Clean teeth are important for health and friendly relationship and professional advancement too.

Elle apologized again when her husband and his bandmate got on stage. “It’s going to be loud.” She said and I braced myself.

She was right – it was noisy – but it was rather interesting too. My assumption was that I just didn’t get it when the feedback that was apparently happening on purpose grew painfully shrill. Then I looked around and noticed everyone was holding their ears. So perhaps that’s just not pleasant for anyone. But it was 30 minutes of experimental music that was interesting.

“I’m glad we went.” I offered on the way home. “What’s up for tomorrow?”

“After that?” Elle asked, still apologetic, “anything you want.”

“Pedicures.” I decided and she looked resigned.

We slept in and had breakfast then I drug her to a small nail salon on Clark. As we left, she said, “I’m glad we did that.” And I grinned.

For someone I’ve known and loved for 10 years, we have little in common. I’m not sure if that says something good for our friendship that I adore her and spending time in her life regardless.

1 comment:

Kisha said...

have fun.

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