The fourth of July has passed on again and, as always, it was a great time. It really is one of those things that brings people together. I will say, however, that running shirtless in American flag shorts through the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of your city may not be the most sensible. One driver did yell "America," but that was before I had crossed the line—the literal neighborhood line. And though I run through this neighborhood all the time, one man did ask, with reasonable menace in his tone, what in the f#ck I thought I was doing running through there. The best thing to do sometimes is to keep running. As I neared my abode on the return, a man yelled from his third-floor balcony, "Woooo, America, f#ck yeah." I gave him a woo back and my faith was restored. The unusual thing was how deserted the roads were, and how few people in general I saw. It was like a scene from 28 Days Later or any such [zombie] apocalypse film, and it was a rather creepy thing. For all that at times I might want less bustle, the contrast, when not changing environs, can be confounding to the point of mild disturbance.
At any rate, I'm sharing the following photo to show how I decided to embrace America the rest of the day. Even amongst the eclectic attire of Boystown and certainly on the lakefront, much commentary was inspired. I only wish I had a photo as a good chum and I—he decked out in equally intriguing cut off America jeans—entered the liquor store, a spectacle in itself with half of its facade a rather cheap-looking castle. To be able to do this, spend time with good friends, and walk to the lake to watch free fireworks with thousands of strangers, this is why I love this country. I can't describe why it is I get such specific joy. Perhaps because everyone seems so on board with one thing, a rarity amongst the overarching culture of antagonism and negativity I see in a lot of pop culture that sometimes is thrown under the moniker of hating.
As I rode the train last evening in cut-off corduroys and cut-off tee (the very one in that photo in fact), I couldn't help but allow some negativity of my own to seep in as some loop workers boarded the train along with me. All of the stereotypes about douchey behavior of finance types were being fulfilled in speech so I did what I sometimes do and stared judgmentally at them. I recall a time an ex-girlfriend did this on a subway train in New York to marvelous effect. Silent, seething disdain, while generally not the best way to go through life, I do appreciate when it puts at least a temporary stick in the spokes of boorish buffoonery. My true favorite moment, aside from the slow realization, is the discomfort when one of these parties of two vacates the train, leaving the lone man or woman to stew alone. It all starts when they get on and give me a look for my attire and haircut and I only need remind them judgment goes both ways. My constant vacillation between fun-loving human and a nauseous distaste for so many of my fellow humans may very well be what helps propel me through life
In other news of crappy chronicling, a proof copy of my first effort at a novel arrived. While it's entrance to the public domain is dubious, I couldn't help but grin with the sense of completion there is in having a tangible copy of my effort. Maybe if I started using a typewriter...And maybe it sucks, but it's a hell of a feeling just to have completed something. I, for one, don't do that enough. So yeah, there, once more, for Uhmerkuh!