30 August 2007
Yes: strangers. He’d expected the neighborhood to be like it was when he left five years ago: the same mix of laidback smile-to-smirk guys and stylish, slightly eccentric women with freshly minted art-school degrees. This night’s seventy-degrees outside. The bartender’s got arcane shred metal amped. Friend’s wide-eyed, though, at the completely half-dressed crew; his last image of Chicago taverns was in winter. Long johns give way to short cons in the dead of summer. His eyes flick. Flesh: men in shower slides displaying feet escaped from distant northwest Chinese work camps. Women in flip-flops, skin flushed and polished iridescent only hours since pedicure. This skimp-dressed banditry, the simple action of subtraction, outdoes what he sees in his SoCal haunts: you learn to dress down year-round there, but this is the dialectic between frost and Freon.
In winter? Timberland and mounds of down and wicked woolens awaiting strip. Summertime? And the looking is easy. The grief of dimples and calf, of sandal and ass in miniscule jersey dresses (sans VPL). Sneakers and calves and the backs of knees. Smiles and lemon-dropped laughter. One particular tremendous, tiny skirt. Men in sleeveless muscle Ts above khaki shorts held up with woven leather belts. A few time-honored New Traumatic fashion misstatements ornament the room. The crowd roils in abrupt shifts, packs of departure and arrival. The chatty, sometimes barking, unfamiliar stampede fills the room’s panopticon box: all convicts watch others’ cons unimpeded, an advance in the most sophisticated of mid-nineteenth century jailery. But if you look and do not listen, there is but the sweet contagion of freckle, dense afterglow of day’s vitamin D absorption, heart-race from common steed, bolt-tethered at curb alongside the herd of carbonized aluminum horses. Blood races and palls with two-dollar lager, G+Ts and the scent of other things served elsewhere under the dark of night.
Antic, frantic, distant and close. Do you hear them? The children of the summer night? There’s nowhere to sit or lean or not fidget in this savannah of the fumbling that insures the survival of the species, the jagged conversations just like the ones forgotten while mid-begetting, mere molecules of moisture in the close, dank, prurient fug. One angry voice rises above all, the all-purpose cry against this dive, warm weather or cold: "What do you mean, no Bud? Man!"
28 August 2007
27 August 2007
22 August 2007
18 August 2007
17 August 2007
16 August 2007
11 August 2007
10 August 2007
08 August 2007
Mitt Romney: "Well, the good news is that we have a volunteer army and that's the way we're going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they've made their decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty. I respect their decision in that regard. I also respect and value very highly those who make a decision to serve in the military. I think we ought to show an outpouring of support just as I suggested. A surge of support for those families and those individuals who are serving. My niece, for instance, just to tell you what a neighborhood can do and how touching it can be.
"My niece, Misha, living out West, her husband I think he got a call on a Tuesday. He's in the National Guard. He got a call on a Tuesday that he was going to be called up and shipped overseas on a Thursday. And they just bought a home -– they hadn’t landscaped it -– but the rules in the neighborhood were that unless you got your home landscaped within a year of the time that you bought your home, they began fining you, because they didn’t want people having mud holes in front of their homes. And she was very worried and just before the year expired, she woke up one morning and looked out the window and all the neighbors were out there, rolling down sod, putting up trees, getting it all done."
"It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country."