Thursday, May 24, 2007

Don't Come to the House Tonight

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Ok, so I know it sounds crazy, but I met him. Boy George's Little Ghost. Well, not him him, actually, but a version of him. What made me hang out with him? Was it his giant fur, but not really so cool, coat? Was it his bottomless bag of diamonds? Um, yes, it was the diamonds.
I called him Chuck, because he wanted everyone to call him Poo-swahswah or Poopooleenee, or some crap like that, so I renamed him Chuck, which he didn't like. He started talking to me one night in Berlin, about the song that was playing and how he 'wrote' it. He always wore the huge fur coat, and me and my friends would giggle at his 'commercial alternativeness', but his aura of glamour was pretty hard to resist. He was usually sweating, take off the fur! in a slimy kind of way, which accentuated his big, droopy, doe like eyes, in a bad way, and he was always so addled I could never understand a word he said. But he scattered his bag of diamonds far and wide throughout the glens of Berlin, and I'm weak.
One morning leaving Berlin, I ran into Phillip. Phillip was tall and beautiful and an aspiring ballet dancer. He was on his way to Chuck's and invited me with him. The walk through the city in dawn's first light made me dizzy. The longer I stayed up without sleeping, the more the world seemed to slip away, and all that was left was a tightrope for me to tread upon. Tread softly... a distant voice calls. Oh, believe me, I AM.

We make it to Chuck's apartment on the lake, at Irving and Lakeshore, and press the number 35 in the elevator. Cataclysmic bombs of holy yellow and gold smash into my face and blind me as Chuck opens his door to greet us, and I almost turn and run, til I realise it is just the sun rising over the lake, it's intensity magnified by it's reflection off the water, as it comes through his dozen east facing windows. His all white apartment is bathed in this beautiful glow while we float above the city:
Chuck and I are wearing all white, as if we had planned it that way, and Phillip sits down next to us carrying a mirror and some vodka and ice.
"Chuck, your apartment in incredible! How long have you lived here?" I asked.
"This is me and my boyfriend's place, and we've been here a couple months now. We stay up almost every night to watch the sunrise."
We ramble on for a while, but soon Philip is in Chuck's closet, trying on his clothes, and Chuck stumbles away to help him out.
I walk over to the window and open it all the way, and stick myself out, resting my elbows on the sill, letting the wind wash over me. I contemplate the earth below. I contemplate the earth. I was in this position for a while until I realised Philip and Chuck were standing close behind me, gazing at the lake with me, watching the morning turn into a glorious day.

I walk home in a haze that grows ever denser, on a tightrope growing ever fainter, wishing I could stop finding myself in situations I felt powerless to stop. Wishing I could stop wishing. Longing for the days when I would let nothing keep me away from an entire day outdoors.
I lay my head down on my pillow, not understanding how I became this person who did things they really didn't want to do. Wondering why I didn't do the things I wanted to do. I thought about the story I read in high school in a magazine about CA. I thought about my first recovery meeting when I was 16, where I knew I wasn't ready for it. Was I ready now?


Aaron said...

I don't even want to ask what the mirror was for! :-)

I love being able to look at the lake from that vantage point. You can see over the trees for miles and miles.

But I'd never decorate an apartment in all white. Too hard to clean!

David said...

Did I know Chuck?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Chicago in 1985/86. I worked at the Limelight, hung out at Exit (liquid lobotomy), Orbit, D&E, Berlin, blah blah blah. Reading your blog is like uncovering a diary I forgot I had written. What crazy, crazy times. I'm sure we knew each other. Or at least, I'll bet our paths crossed at the thrift store on Halstead--in the black clothing section. Such fierce competiton when a new shipment arrived. Wish there was a link here to contact you. Maybe you know some of my old friends?