Sunday, May 23, 2010


She was the only woman talking on the train. Very loud at seven thirty in the morning. Planning a children's beach birthday party.

"Yeah we're just going to the beach. Yeah! We thought, you know, just make it easy. Bring a cooler. Buckets and shovels as party favors. That's it. The kids can play on the

beach. Parents can have some wine."

Two women waiting for the red line, in hospital scrubs, underground at the State and Lake stop-

"Shit. Now you know that God will bring you to your knees. To your knees! See we know that. She doesn't fucking know that."

"Oh you don't have to get anything for him. Seriously, we know everyone is having a rough year....we just want it to be simple. But he is really into insects. We can't pull him

away from Animal Planet, so, and he likes Spongebob Squarepants. That's pretty much it. He doesn't watch a lot of Spongebob because we don't have cable. It's just an expense we don't need right now. But yeah a book on insects would be great"

"See it's a process. It's a process. She doesn't know that. It can take a couple weeks, a couple months, a year- shit. And you think she's not gonna tell the judge that her mom

been smoking crack?"

"No, we thought we'd just put it on the cooler. Yeah, just put the cake in the cooler and then when it's time to blow out the candles- use it as a table. But if you have a table

that would be great. Don had a patio table when we first met and he was using it as his dining table and I said, "Get rid of it," you know. Oh but yeah if you could bring a

table that would be great."

"I did all that shit. Fuck. I was real heavy into it. Real heavy. I chose God though. I chose Jesus Christ, and he brought me to my knees. I been clean for six years now."

"Hello...Hello...Bridget? Bridget? Hello?"

The two women underground were accompanied by a pre-teen girl who was listening to the conversation. She seemed embarrassed. Or maybe I was just embarrassed for her.

"Hi Bridget this is Lauren. It looks like we got cut off, I don't know what's wrong with my phone. If you want to give me a call back now or later today, I'd love to continue

planning for Sunday. Thank you so much for offering for us to use your table. Oh! there you are on the other line, Hi Bridget, I don't know how long I was talking and then I was

like Bridget, Bridget. But yeah if you want to bring your table, and please don't spend a lot on gifts. We just want this to be simple, Oh, no problem, sure, we'll talk later. OK bye."

Friday, March 26, 2010


If you post one more picture collection of one more Central American or European vacation you go on I'm gonna scream. You in your shorts and tan legs! Wearing the same red shirt everyday, not taking showers, letting your beard grow because your just traveling the world without a care in the world- you make me sick. Some of us have to work!

It's always been your dream to travel and you're doing it and that's wonderful. I guess when we were dating I should have focused less on The Huffington Post and more on Orbitz or wherever the hell you book your flights to Panama or wherever it is you go.

Does it change you? Does it change the way you see me? I mean, has your perception changed? Can you still relate to me?

If we go out to coffee some dreary Chicago night will you be unable to relate to me because you've zip-lined through the rainforest and shared a meal with a native tribe?

Maybe it changes me. I don't know just don't send me anymore pictures of your drunken escapades in other countries.

You don't have to go to Paris to write about Paris. Someone said that. Maybe I did.

I can rent the Travel video from the library and be perfectly happy. This isn't The Amazing Race. You won't get any prizes from me for how fast you make it around the world.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I normally don't like parties. There is a quote from the movie Temple Grandin about how she feels about parties- something like "I hate parties- everyone is standing around giving me looks and I don't know what they mean." I can definitely relate to that. I have great difficulty if I sense that someone is being disingenuous. I have figured out that is part of the party game. And it's not bad. You put on your best face. Even a semi-fake face, to get to know people, put people at ease. That is very hard for me to do. A party is not the time to bring your normal self, the self with all the baggage.

Generally, I feel more comfortable in a costume. I dressed up as Julia Child for the Oscar party. I became aware that people saw me as Julia Child not Jeremy. Obviously, people knew I wasn't the real Julia Child. But when they looked at me- they didn't think- "Who is that guy?" If even remotely, they had some way to categorize me in their head. I let the costume do the talking for me.

Socializing in large groups exhausts me. Temple Grandin's mother tried to get her to socialize, even though it exhausted her too, threw her into panic attacks. I am exactly the same way. Her mother wouldn't let her leave parties though. She would bring her into a room and let her calm down and then she would be ok to carry on. I realize that this has worked for me too and I just haven't realized it.

I need a panic room for a party. A room I can go to depressurize.

Friday, March 12, 2010

God Bless The Outcasts

Today I did not go to McDonalds. I just wanted to eat without homeless people around. As terrible as that sounds, it's the god's honest truth and I would say it to their face. It's not about them, it's about me.

Yesterday I did go to McDonalds. As I ate my McChicken I looked around and seventy five percent of the patrons were homeless. One woman sat snoring with the remnants of a Value Meal strewn before her. Another sat on what must have been her coffee break from roaming the streets, large bags full of plastic bags at her feet.

Today I decided to go to Jimmy Johns. While I stood outside having my pre-meal cigarette, a small man in a dirty winter jacket wandered around with a styrofoam cup. He carried a sign that said something about how he had the AIDS virus and needed money. I don't know exactly what it said, I read it quickly. It was a very large sign with lots of words and I was just too tired.

I chose Jimmy Johns because they don't seem to cater to the homeless. It's a cheery place with Kitschy signs that create a very relaxed environment for the temporary employee on their break. I sat down and ate my "Pepe" or "Tom Tom" or whatever whimsical name they have for a ham sandwich and read The Onion. In the world of Jimmy Johns and The Onion the world is a sarcastic, smirky, condescending place- we're all in on one big inside joke and we love it.

The thing is, I identify so strongly with that man on the street carrying that sign that it scares the hell out of me. In my head, I am just one missed Comcast payment away from being homeless. I can see myself so clearly wandering the streets with a sign "Please spare some change- No Netflix."

Yesterday I bought some RC on the way home. RC. That's how bad it's getting.

And what do I plan to do about. For the moment I plan to have another cigarette and take a nap, thank you very much. It's been a complicated week full of data entry and American Idol -my head is spinning.

It's good to be back.