August 09, 2012


Everyone has left! Everyone has left! Hardly a soul dear to me is left in Chicago, friendwise. Every few years there is an exodus, and this one just never seemed to stop. All my girl friends to California; Nora bequeathed us little kids chairs that they dumpstered long ago, for the boys to use. Jude cannot sit up on his own yet, so it might be sometime before they can both use them. Today they got turned into a garage of sorts by William: small trucks underneath, bus up top. Tonight I told him about drip and drops. "Drip drop" he said laughing, like, 31 and a half times in the bath tub.

I spent the weekend at Lollapalooza. It was awful. As a human and a mom, to see teen EDM fans laying passed out and unattended and boys with braces fishing a full water bottle of brown booze from their pants and taking a sneaky sip from it and and thinking, fucking A, kiddo if you drink more than 3 sips of that you probably will not be able to walk. David Drake and I ran and got help for a barely awake girl who was being tended to by some other fucked up teenagers after the girls friend went back to dance, she looked in really frightening shape and I said "stay with her, we will be right back" and they were all half drunk and rolling and tops 18 saying "I bet she just needs to rest?" and trying to pick her up so she wouldn't "get in trouble". I saw kids barfing. Like 14 years old barfing all over the barrier. The whole EDM-area was ringed with crying girls on bad trips coated in glitter. I was super surprised no one died. Lolla promoter C3 needs to hire some old ravers for next year, just walk around and pick OD-ing kids out of the mud and help them. I felt like Didion at Haight Ashbury, though that is upselling all points in the comparison, surely.

Riding my bike home after, the four miles through my most old favorite empty streets on two of the three nights, I felt the charm gone. I get why everyone is leaving. The city seemless as lawless and decrepit a cowboy town as it was back in Neon Wilderness; everything seems so extra run down, everyone so especially desperate and obliterated and gone and scared and polarized and segregated and then there is the murder rate and then there are drunk teenagers punching 11 yr olds for Lollapalooza commemorative beach balls. Everything being dirty and crooked and not working how it should has lost it's charm. I would also like to live someplace where you don't see drunk people tugging their toddlers around at 11:30 pm (laundrymat, street, fucking Black Keys show whathaveyou), but I don't think that is possible unless I move to the middle of a corn maze. It feels like too much to bear witness to, this city, these days. Closing your eyes doesn't constitute a solution.

After I reported my Chief Keef story, which involved spending a few hours further down on the Southside than I normally roll, I kept dreaming about things and people in the story. I dreamt there was a gun under my pillow, but I woke up and it was a truck. I dreamt of Keef's baby, who is only 2 months older than my littlest baby. I dreamt of Lupe crying after he cried on MTV, which is I think how everyone feels. It was the most emotionally fatiguing story I have reported in years. The messed up city is getting the pop star it deserves in Keef; grim raps and gripping a 33 round glock in your video is enough to fetch you a deal. Today's Sun Times cover story is a still of 13 .o. Lil Mouse, glock to the camera, the headline asking where the fuck are this kids parents, more or less. Then again if I lived on the Eastside in serious poverty and rapping about shooting someone in the head seemed like a way out, I would probably take that opp.

Posted by jessica hopper at August 9, 2012 11:44 PM | TrackBack