Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

The Lonely Piano

Posted on August 15, 2015

I took a bike ride along Chicago’s Lakefront Trail, starting at it’s end (or beginning) at the South Shore Cultural Center at 71st Street. The South Side. Little known beaches with people of all races and cultures, cool architecture and this:

A lonely piano at  63rd Street Beach. 

piano-63rd-street-beach

Coming Next: The Asshole Book Club Pt. 4 – The Band Edition

Posted on August 6, 2015

The Asshole Book Club reconvenes – this time it’s the Chicago-based band UK Grief that’s doing the bookin’ and the drinkin’. 

In the meantime, enjoy this pic from Crown Brewing, near Chicago. Liffey got his pint on the other day. Cheers. 

crown-brewing-craft-beer

An Impromptu Dance in Logan Square

Posted on July 15, 2015

I had a pint at Quenchers Saloon before I left my Bucktown neighborhood to help Mosquito run an errand at some small town in Indiana.

He said he had to pick up photography equipment in a small town about 90 minutes over the state line. It was 6 p.m. on a Monday night and I had a nice Polish beer buzz and a McDonald’s chicken sandwich in my lap as we drove away on Interstate 94 before latching on to some state highway surrounded by cornfields. Mosquito can be an annoying talker during a road trip so I turned up the radio and read Chicago recluse author Clive Javanski’s latest essay, “Loose Pants.”

Here we were, driving in this beat up ’82 Scottsdale pick-up truck like a couple of assholes.  It’s like we were from the past and drove into the future where we were still losers, driving in this  But decades old pile of metal shit. Skinny wires were hanging out of several fissures in the dashboard.

To say the truck had no power steering was putting it lightly. When Mosquito made a turn his arms worked that wheel like a ship captain desperately trying to avoid an ice flow.

“I have to fix my vehicles,” he said.

Mosquito said the truck had its positives.

“It can haul anything.”

On the way I caught part of a billboard along the highway that read “$5 Trucker’s Special” I couldn’t tell if it was for a truck stop or strip club.

We arrived at some town hall where a town hall meeting was going on. Wallpaper with ducks surrounded the room. Someone named Padwick handed off a bunch of camera stuff to Mosquito.

I didn’t want to talk to him, but I did. He told me he once wrote a one-act play called “Everybody Dies.” He asked if we wanted to come over to his place because he had Abita beer in his fridge.

We made it back to Chicago in time to stop at my friend Ray’s small loft. It was a fancy rehabbed two bedroom loft in Logan Square. Denny Catzman was there. He does local theater and his girlfriend is a high school senior at Lane Tech.

Several years ago a strung-out coke whore was probably giving a two-dollar blow jobs in whatever decrepit building occupied this space. Tonight, in her place, we have Diamond-Eyes Denny Catzman, sipping a Cuba Libra and wearing ruby red boots.

I saw Aidan, who saw I brought Mosquito, leading him to ask why I brought “some 6-foot open sore with pants.”

Sasha, from our band UK Grief, suddenly started singing a Sleater-Kinney song. Everyone began to dance, including a cute Hispanic paramedic girl I was flirting with in the kitchen. I danced with her until she asked where the bathroom was, even though it was right over there. “Come with me,” she said. So I did.  We started making out and she told me bathroom sex turned her on.

A few hours later Mosquito and I were giving her a ride home. Her groping me distracted me from the shittiness of the truck we were in. An odd smell was coming through the air conditioning vents. After dropping her off she kissed me, stepped outside and said, “what the fuck did I just ride in?”

“I have to fix my vehicles,” Mosquito said to her as we drove off.

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