driving through chicago i noticed my car was overheating.  again.  i just replaced my radiator.  so i flip on the heat, wipe the sweat off my face with the back of my hand, stare at the bumper of the car in front of me, and peer all around from my spot on the freeway at the shining buildings of the city i used to call home.  the last time i drove into chicago, it was 2008 and my ex and i were on the tail end of a cross-country move from phoenix.  as we approached i was nearly apoplectic with glee; finally, i thought, a real city, a city where i can live!  this sentiment was subsequently squashed by rent prices, torn by bitter lake winds, and starved away in the following months as i grew hungrier and hungrier for whatever it was i loved to watch as i walked through the town but did not feel in my own life.



so, this year, approaching, fighting traffic (i had never driven in chicago before), sweating (95+ humid degrees & smoldering car heat) (it should perhaps be mentioned that i do not use my ac) and frustrated (10 p.m. saturday is not the best time to traverse any city) it was a good night’s sleep and two plays later before i was able to look at the city again properly.  what surprised me is how few memories i have there.  my long-term memory is insane; i remember piddly details of things that no one else would, and throughout this trip have been startled by how strongly the places i visit overwhelm me with them.  i lived a good eleven months in chicago.  i walked all over the city, participated in it as best i could considering my hermit boyfriend and impecuniousness.  but going through it again, looking at the restaurant where i would eat at 4 a.m. on insomiac nights or the storefront where i shot a particular photograph, nothing emerges, no feelings, nothing.

i have considered that this is perhaps because i spent all of my free time in chicago dreaming.  i was rarely doing, other than walking, because i was broke as a joke.  but i would ride the trains and look with emaciated eyes at the surrounding houses, stores, sidewalks, parks, people.  i would overhear conversations on the train about barbecue grills and live shows and the need to tune the piano because it is being used for the first time in ten years.  i would walk past those lit houses on my home from work, and see those unused pianos in one room and a family zoned out in front of a large-screen television in the other.  and i dreamed, i dreamed.  but it was this way that my subconscious exhausted itself, not through memory creation.  and as a result chicago, this time, was emptier of thought than i expected.



next week is north carolina; after that, the film burns away.  grand, all of it.  see you on the road.

i have a fever
                wise men know
                                to leave
                and go
and go and go
with tires bald but
                                i leave
                and go
and go and go
what address please-
                i do not know
                                i leave
                and go
and go and go
no cause for grief
                (no time to grieve.)
                                i leave
                and go
and go and go
and go and go
and go

16 18 april4 april7 april8 april9 april1013

photographs in this entry were taken with film in 2008 and 2009.


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