Lit out of Tennessee on zero sleep, tried to catch up in the car through Kentucky, but it was a lost cause so I took reading. Kentucky's tourist trap industry is apparently booming, if anyone was worried. Drove the length of Indiana, which was boring as hell, and we all remarked, repeatedly, we'd rather die than live there. Could barely contain our excitement as the flat-ass terrain gave way to man-made mountains of steel, glass, and brick, until we discovered we'd arrived in that magical hour named for our driver, Rush.
Checked into our hostel, which I still couldn't believe was 30 bucks a night in the middle of the South Loop, met our roommates Sybil from Glasgow, and Sarah from Sydney. Wandered "the Loop" aimlessly with rumbling tummies, and stumbled on a delightful Vietnamese joint, where the water tasted like cucumbers. I had Giant Tiger Prawn Curry. Our waiter advised us to get hell out of the loop for the night, so we hopped the blue line to Wicker Park, but not before checking out The Ghery Ampitheatre and that fucking cool shiny bean-like Anish Kapoor sculpture in Millenium park. Immediately felt at home in Wicker Park, if not entirely destitute. Seemed even the bespectacled hipsters and dreadlocked leather and chain crowd were decked out in couture. Had a pitcher of wheat brew and a couple of Sauzas with training wheels at a pizza joint, where a hot nubian princess was laying down some favorite funk on the decks, prompting Anna to note that "Chicago loves the 80's." This would become a theme.
SOFA. Was. Amazing. Fifteen minutes in and I was deep in sensory overload, so I took off for a slide lecture of Keith and Deanna Clayton wherein I firmly decided to attend the electroforming workshop at school this summer come hell or highwater. Wandered back into Festival Hall and set about weaving in and out of the gallery booths, with my spritual jaw on the floor. Came to the conclusion that I really need to go to the Czech Republic. Soon.
Enjoyed a Turkish Coffee and a hookah down on Division Street, where Anna couldn't wipe the guilty look off her face every time she inhaled, even though no wrongdoing was involved. Somewhere around Saturday evening, we dubbed ourselved the "50 Dollar Club," because no matter where we went or what we consumed, the bill always arrived at 50 bucks.
Back in the Loop, the Anna/Rush pseudo-rivalry reached a fever pitch when Anna complained of a sore throat to which Rush replied she should stop ramming cock down her throat. We decided there should be a scientific term for sore throat cause by excessive giving of head (see post title). Massive overuse of the words rimjob, dickface, asshat, and skank ho ensued. Had a Keatonesque moment when my hat flew off, it taunted me for several blocks as I gave chase.
Sunday found us back at SOFA for further digestion. Used the time to take notes, and people watch. Art Collectors are nutjobs. Really. Who gave these people money? Overheard "When you visit our newer house, you get your choice of guest suites (ooh ahh)," "I'm meeting with architects to discuss the new wing, and I'm thinking about a Chihuly installation for the breezeway" and "Marge and I have decided you'll take the pink one and we'll take the green one and in six months, we'll switch! Ha ha ha." Just a few gems. The gallery reps themselves are the pentulimate kissers of ass, and the successful artists are the ones who can keep a straight face and pretend to give a fuck in the face of "Honey, wouldn't that look great in the foh-yay? I think it's just diviiihhne. Or would it clash with the Lichtenstein? Maybe the guest house? I just love it. I'll build a place for it if I have to, or just give it to MOMA." They have the same attitude toward a $60,000 piece of art that I have toward a ten dollar shirt.
Long trip home, but with plenty to think about. Sunset in Indiana almost enough to make me rescind my earlier statement. Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, the skylines kept getting less impressive, and too soon the only skyline was made of treetops. It occurred to me I had given almost no thought to the depressing events of weeks previous, I felt refreshed (if slightly exhausted), and ready to roll up the sleeves. I have a head full of new ideas, and I'm exited again.