Monday, August 18, 2008

Every Little Thing That You Say Or Do

I picked up my friend Greg in Chicago at 8am or so. After leaving the airport and parking the Odyssey we went on a search for some breakfast. I saw a couple wearing Red Sox apparel and flagged them down. I asked if they knew where we could get brunch and the dude yelled at me that they were also on a hunt for brunch. Before parting ways he threw in a few expletives about how stupid Chicago is. This made me miss Boston.

Greg and I finally found a brunch buffet and ate until we could eat no more. From there we made our way to the waterfront. We considered renting Seqways, but they cost $50 an hour. We then considered tandem bicycles, but Greg looks really bad in spandex so we decided to ride the ferris wheel and take some pictures of the whole city from up high.

Three or four Dramamine later, Greg called his friend Yasi. Although we had no plans, we tried to convince her to meet us near the water. She wasn’t interested in wandering aimlessly around the city with us, so we continued on, alone.

Hours later we made our way to Yasi’s apartment in a very nice residential section of Chicago. She and her roommate JRay had made chocolate chip cookies with orange zest. I’d never had cookies with orange zest, but I feel they suit me.

The walls of their apartment were covered with JRay’s huge framed pictures detailing where garbage goes at night. I enjoyed staring at them very much. I also enjoyed imagining her slinking around and photographing garbage in dangerous neighborhoods after curfew.

Greg went to bed about four minutes after we arrived. Yasi and JRay made eggs. I watched them cook and then ate the eggs. I was very glad to learn that there are many spices in addition to salt and pepper.

After a few hours of talking, making prank calls, and listening to a David Sedaris audio story we woke Greg and he looked like this:

I’m including this picture because I’m a terrible friend and I know how gassy Greg gets when he’s not in control of his appearance.

The next day Yasi and Greg and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago (where they go in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!). We discussed Corey and Topanga’s views on art. Surprisingly, Greg’s take on Starry Night is very similar to Corey’s.

One of the security guards told me her favorite section of the museum is the impressionist’s section. I agreed that it was one of the nicer places (though I don’t really know anything about this stuff). Another security guard was pissed that her daughter isn’t allowed to go home from school early when she has menstrual cramps. I was unable to be of any assistance in this matter.

Apparently when you tell a security guard that you used to be a security guard they open right the frig up.

That night we went to the White Sox Red Sox game. Beckett pitched and Boston won. It was Yasi’s first baseball game and she wasn’t impressed. The game started out kinda slow, and the presence of the third base coach really dismayed her. To her, baseball was more of a debate on free will than a sport or pastime.

The next day was my reading in Lansing. Greg and I were both sad to leave Yasi and JRay, even though Yasi did kinda ruin baseball for me forever. We arrived at the library twenty minutes late because we didn’t realize the time zones switch from Chicago to Michigan, but it still went well and a very good sized crowd showed up.

That night while trying to find a campground I backed the van into a pole and tore the bumper right off. Greg taped it back on (he’s very good with tape).

The next day we drove around Detroit and took pictures of all the skyscrapers. We also snuck into a couple and took pictures from the upper floors. In one building the head security guard escorted us to an abandoned floor to take some pictures out the windows.

Out of all the cities I’ve visited, Detroit seems to be in the most financial trouble. I guess this isn't a big secret, but I was shocked at how visibly depressed it is. I’ve never seen groups of abandoned skyscrapers.

Despite Detroit's current situation, I wouldn’t mind living there someday. A lot of care went into the construction of that city, and all the elevator doors and hallways have really neat metal and marble fixtures.

On the way to take Greg to the Detroit airport I drove over a bungee cord and we got a flat tire. Greg took the tire off and a very nice older man with super veiny arms gave us a ride to a garage. He didn't want us to leave Detroit thinking no one nice lived in the city. After getting the tire plugged Greg rolled it back to the van and I put it back on. Greg was really revved up about working on the car and wanted to do the whole operation himself, but I didn’t want to look like too much of a wuss in the blog.


Adam R. said...

I think this post is a little more sarcastic than other posts that you've written. What do you think?

It's nice though. Don't get me wrong.

daniel trask said...

You're probably right. The trip was wearing on me and I'd spent a few days with artists. You know how that goes--they're all full of black stuff. But don't get ME wrong, I had a lot of the fun in Chicago.