I’m starting this at what my laptop tells me is 1:24 a.m. I’m at the Grand Blue Line stop with a laptop pulled out in front of me and a slender young white man vomiting into a CTA garbage bag maybe 15 yards behind me.
I’ve had a night.
Maybe it wasn’t as much a night as the young white man’s night, but it was a night.
I dug into the hidden tunnel beneath the downtown Loop area — that’s Monday’s story if all goes according to plan. The photographer and I (it’s going to be quite a piece on Monday) went to an artists’ lofty private club called Soho House after digging among the city’s lost refuse.
There, we laughed and joked amid the skyscrape view bars. I dipped my hand into the open-air pool to confirm that, yes, it was heated. My friend told me people can swim there all winter and that, yes, I do have the artistic cred to join the social club with the stories of bars, hotels and pools if I so saw fit.
He would sponsor me, he said.
We laughed and joked and shared stories among the literati glitterati to top the night with one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had.
The bone marrow is the key to the burgers, my friend said.
And now, bookcased between my crash and burn job, an eve spent toiling among the downtown refuse and a young white man who has since disappeared save an occasional phlegmy moan, I was among the brilliant.
I was excellent for a night.
I’m finishing this at what the laptop tells me is 1:59 a.m. The train came. I went home.
There’s no real difference between the me of the underground tunnel and the me of the lofty downtown art club. Not definitively, at least.
But it feels different, doesn’t it? One feels real and normal and me. The other feels like a guy who should be poking around tunnels standing on the roof of a downtown club, looking out at the beauty of a downtown he’s seen from the bottom up.
It’s going to be quite a piece on Monday.