September 19, 2005


We were in the back of the cab coming back home from the airport, and Matt said something about how after you have been away long enough that you can, just for a minute, give the city a chance again, pass an intersection you have been through 8 million times and see it new, just for a minute just before you sell it out again.

The sell out is easy. Spend a week in Oregon where the loudest thing is the ocean and dogs and wind and suddenly Chicago is euphonius at best, all too much. The little town, Gearhart, despite being 13 miles from Clatsop County's meth hotspot, Astoria, was about as heavenly as it gets. Every day we'd be on walks or drives and say 'There. There. That house. Your office will be in the little barn and..." A vay-kay to the shore is listed in the dictionary as being idyllic , so can we be blamed? We hit barn sales and saved a broken crab! Walking alongsiode the receeding tide talking serious, like an endless Summers Eve commercial. We watched the sunset over the ocean, passed on the path by aged couples doing the same, in pairs, light convo supplanted by wet eyes and the clicking of cubes in the Campari in the anchor-adorned cups. It was like the unmade video for Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island".

There was also something great at the beach: a shipwreck. Unmoved since labor day weekend said the locals. A sailboat, 30-footer, washed on the shore, deck popping apart with the weight of the mast making moves toward horizontal. I ran in close as the waves ebbed out, to see if I could see, peering into the portholes. I wanted to know, where was the captain? Bottom of the ocean or fished out of open water and the ship was long adrift, unowned and out on it's own? No sails but rag. Just sitting on the Oregon coast for two weeks.

Also, mysterious, but more just strange: On a corner in Astoria, a phone booth subject to many phone calls. Waitress at Columbia Cafe says it rings off the hook, always. When I passed, it rang and I answered. "Shut the door behind you." said the man. "No." I told him. Matt answered when he passed, same thing. The waitress said when she answers it's usually just some kid saying something dirty. A few seconds later, a man stopped in, asking if anyone knew David Johnson. A customer and our waitress conferred--"Nope, no one here by that name" said a regular. The man said "Yeah, well, if you see him, someone's calling for him in the booth on the corner," and the man walked on. When we passed back by it later, a woman, once pretty and now made grey by meth and covered in scratches, was inside, door closed, listening very intently. Almost as compelling as the boat: Who is calling the booth? Is it more than one person? Is it one person all day? Can they see the booth? And is anyone really looking for David Johnson?.

Lastly: My abridged and OG vision review of of Sufjan in this week's City Pages.

Double lastly: Franklin Bruno is my new neighboor. Huzzah. Watch for our Mecca Normal cover band. He is Jean and I will be David. He has signed on for Muy Ro participation. The list grows by the day of new membs--- This years Muy Romantico will knock the pee outta you!

Posted by Jessica at September 19, 2005 11:32 PM | TrackBack