Chicago, Day 2

I’ve had this on repeat all morning.

Chicago, what will you bring us today? So the internet was right, it took me 7 days to beat that cold. Woke up this morning and she was gone, no longer kicking my ass.

We are just getting around, set for a long day in the studio, and people swinging by to record with us, then off to a new club my two friends are opening tonight, other friends DJn. First we gotta walk to get some coffee though, then work up the energy to get there. A few short blocks away is small café, I just ordered an old fashion doughnut, and large black coffee. Its cold but the air feels rewarding, as do the steps over slippery ice, testing our athletic ability.

Last night we took in some house music DJs, one in her prime, killing the decks at a place we’re going to call “Slurp”. Its an inside joke now. I couldn’t remember the name so we renamed it. My friend introduced me to the DJ who was playing when we arrived. What a nice dude, very warm. The scene was what you’d expect in a bar on a Thursday. It’s a smaller place, old school kind of a “dive”, my kind of spot to kick back and sip a dark and stormy, even if they were too strong. I saw a couple folx I hadn’t seen since the last time I was in Chicago. I’m not much of a bar person these days (it is what it is) over time the vibe becomes too thin not to see the broken souls waiting around for something bigger, the desperation is loud in the night scene. There were a lot of curious eyes everywhere coming in. I had on a used red wine colored turtleneck, it felt damn good wearing it frankly, not sure how a turtleneck does that to a person, but it did to me. A friend said to me recently about the bar, “there is no evolution in those places”. She’s right. I did see some people that know the girl I met a couple years ago. They kept looking over, and I acted aloof to their presence, too much work to carry one of those conversations. And I’m not the person from then, or the person I was a couple months ago. So who cares? Just more ghosts in a long line of other shades of the past. Plus, I just wanted to dance. Let me die dancing; let me take off on the dance floor. When I move I feel alive. There’s a ritual experience to dance and if you can get through the first part of feeling like everyone is watching you, and your shaky with nerves, its magical. I was so full from dinner that I didn’t boogie for too long, but enough to show that I was feeling the music from the DJ. That’s how you show your respect.

A few hours before Slurp we went to an off the grid Korean BBQ joint… Wow! I haven’t eaten that well in months. We stayed for two hours. Our hosts were two lovely older women, as authentic as you can imagine. The place was quiet; we had a table surrounded by windows. The scene was lovely, sizzling fire for food, wind pushing the snow around a few feet away, a young family learning a way together. It was wholesome and honest, safe, and beautiful. When we left, each one of us could only think of sleeping because we didn’t stop much to breath while inhaling the kimchi, fresh greens, and a whole table of other things, including the grill sizzling the leanest cuts of steak and pork I’ve ever had. I felt grateful and honored. Back at the house we listened to vinyl, drank wine, and chewed the fat of parenting, old times, new possibilities, poetry and academia. My boy and I recorded in his home studio for an hour, it went well.  When I first arrived, we went for a late brunch. I ordered two eggs over easy, rye toast and a bowel of delicious poblano soup, with a flower on top drawn with cream. I never eat two big meals in a day; my stomach is pissed right now. Sorry dude!

Woke up this morning thinking about my Mom, wondering how she’s doing. I talked to God for a minute, in my head asking for “courage, wisdom, and strength”  to hear and see my path, to keep me from bad thing, and keep love in my heart. I thought about my kids, wondering if they are laughing like they do. I thought about my Grandma, and my Aunts, I thought about all the people in my life that have hung on. In this moment I feel blessed to have so many good people around me, and I want to be honoring that space today as we venture out into the world to create sounds, new experiences in art that will become (hopefully) part of another persons life, down the road when we let them go and they are flowing in the air, landing when they are chosen.


Happy Friday!


“Create a new narrative”

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