Postcards – 1

I’m not sure what a story is anymore.

Winds whip Chicago, especially downtown, right off the lake, charging between half-empty buildings standing tall and angry against starless, black skies at night.

Not sure where to begin, the words, not sure what words to use anymore (I’m too old) or what order they should be in (I’m too vacant (soiled athletic socks, empty pint bottles of whiskey tipped over on a moldy bathroom shelf, dead roaches in the kitchen where the ceiling is falling down)) Would you prefer paper? Plastic? These USA Made (Wyoming) post mortem body bags medium weight features solid construction that retains all body fluids without leaking. Strong rust resistant zippers. 100% Chlorine Free – environmentally EPA compliant – no PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) material used in manufacturing. These handled bags come in white, royal blue and black, packaged 20 to a box.

On the Red Line, at the Addison stop, in the distance rise four identical apartment buildings adjacent to the lake, parallel to one another. They’re buffeted by the winds, non-stop, all day and all night. The buildings look like windowed tombstones in our morning sunlight.

“I can’t hear.”

I’m writing these words. Not sure where to go, not really sure what a story is or where to begin, but I do like to go to the Art Institute and stare at the grotesque Ivan Albright paintings of all these train commuters. Line doesn’t matter. Train doesn’t matter. It’s what one gets used to, I’m more impressed on those rare days when a Waterhouse shows up all melodramatic and King Arthur-ish, but we can’t touch those. Those words are purely a hands off scenario.

If you buy one box of 20, might as well buy a dozen.

We move in patterns, below the CTA tracks, shadows painted on the minds of kids on bikes. My mind goes places I’d prefer it not, and it does so too often. I think a lot about suicide, more curiosity than intent, mentally put myself in sweaty places where there’d be no escaping, no other option, Wyoming. Wyoming might do. Nothing in Wyoming but death and bootstraps, dead kids on dead bikes on the wrong end of a million dead guns in dead shadows noosed around a dead cowboy at Frontier Days in Cheyenne…this is the pattern.

The whole back room of this bar is filled with free arcade games from the eighties. It’s near the Lawrence Red Line Stop.

Sunset Riders is the closest I ever got to being a cowboy and the Lake Street Station in the Loop is the closest I ever got to suicide but every dead roach in my apartment? I’m responsible. They’re tricksters and shapeshifters, each dead roach is a word on the page, each page torn by Chicago winds.

Stories are too individualized now.

Mines mean nothing.

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