#897: Home

March 5th, 2018

My apartment’s radiator sounds like Snap, Crackle and Pop have a fourth elf friend named High-Pitched Whine.

There’s an empty room in the basement off from the laundry room with brick walls, no window, a dusty concrete floor and some bits of long-broken glass. It’s the single creepiest room I’ve been in. I call it the Murder Room and want to hide a clown mannequin in there. It would be just standing there, looking.

And someone spilled like a ton of cat litter in the stairwell and didn’t clean it up. Used cat litter.

I love this place. 

That last line isn’t sarcasm, nor is this one of those “love a place for its flaws” happy pieces. The Murder Room is terrifying even clownless and that cat litter bit’s just nasty. But the space is airy, spacious, the rent’s good and despite the upstairs neighbor either pushing himself across the room in a rolling chair (my theory) or training for Irish step dancing troupe Riverdance (my wife’s thought), this is a wonderful, wonderful place. It’s great. And it’s my Chicago.

Yesterday was the city’s 181st birthday and today is¬†Casimir Pulaski Day, which is a local holiday celebrating Illinois politicians trying to kiss the Polish community’s collective dupa in the 1980s by giving the state’s schoolkids a weird day off. It’s a weekend just dripping with Chicagoana.

But there’s Chicagoana and then there’s Chicago. This town has an image problem in that it’s too into its own image.

It’s a city of music and art and fat tourist pizza, one with a unique history, past and heritage. But it’s also a city where people get groceries, drink coffee, watch YouTube videos when they should be working. It’s a city of life and life is, for a large part, familiar.

As familiar as a wheezy, groaning, Snap, Crackle, Pop and Whine radiator. Or a Murder Room off from the laundry.

But the cat litter in the hallway, that’s just never going to be right.

On haircuts and journalism

The Super Mall

The South Chicago flag shop

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