1. Billy Ocean is alive and well and singing daily at Navy Pier. At any given moment his soulful voice with that accent of equal parts Trinidad and British can be heard all across the mile long stretch, from the stain glass museum to Connie’s Pizza, and unfortunately, it can be heard loud and clear at the docks of the Sea Dog ™ speedboats where I am stationed 40 hours a week. There are a number of bad songs that I hear there like Sussudio by Phil Collins or Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts, the latter which I hear on a daily basis, guaranteed, but there was something about hearing both Billy Ocean’s When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going AND Get Outta My Dreams Get Into My Car that really made me squirm in my tight, black slacks. That’s right, tight, black slacks, so that the heat locks in, due the color, and scorches your skin, due the tightness, and then your sense of hearing is equally tortured with that retched intro:
Billy: Hey you, get in to my car
Billy’s Girl Not Yet In His Car, But for the Time Being Merely In His Dreams: Who me?
Billy: Yes you, get in to my car
Wooooooooooooooh. Wah! Yeah!
2. After having my bike stolen, my plan all week was to drive my car somewhere and then take public transportation, which would enable me to sleep a little longer. This worked out great the first day, when I parked my car right by a bus stop and hopped on, but the following day I pressed my luck and kept driving. I noticed that as I got closer to downtown all the spots were meter spots, so I had to pull down a side street. The side street I chose off of Chicago Avenue was Hudson, and I went a few blocks down to Hudson and Locust. Make a mental note of this everyone, if you find yourself at this crossroads RUN. I saw a lot of empty lots, makeshift churches fashioned out of burnt out buildings, and that famous pattern of liquor stores directly next to currency exchanges. I parked my car and ran my ass to work. The boss’s kid promised to give me a ride back to my car, so I could have nice door-to-door service, but then he changed his mind and said he couldn't due to a commitment with his girlfriend. So, for the remainder of the day at work I was dreading my second encounter with Dough Boy and the rest of the Boyz in the Hood. As it turns out, that street is a little more “active” at 6pm then it is at 8:30 am. Just turning and looking down that block I knew that I was going to stick out like a turd in a punch bowl. I ventured down half a block and noticed some people playing softball. Here is my internal monologue as best as I can remember:
“Okay, softball. That means they have bats. Don’t look at that game, just keep looking straight ahead. Do I look tough? Probably not. I don’t look like I have money though, right? I wouldn’t be wearing this uniform if I had money. Okay, I can see my car another block down on the other side of the street. It’s still there and it looks like it has at least two rims left. There are dudes approaching on my side of the street, so what I’ll do is start a slow crossing the street process angling directly towards my car so that I don’t have to cross paths with any of these guys. Deer God, there are like 7 of these guys on the corner and they all have white shirts. Maybe they’re school uniforms. No, school is out for the summer. Maybe they got next in the softball game. Yeah . . . Shit, they’re ascending towards me. Okay, pick up the pace, but don’t look like you’re picking up the pace.”
What I did next was jump into my car, start it up, and peeled out of there without even taking my backpack off, despite the fact that I was crammed tightly against the steering wheel. If any of the Hudson and Locust white shirted gentlemen are reading right now, I’d like to thank you for not pulling out your strap and laying a buster down.
3. I broke up with the girl I was seeing for over two months. Two months is the longest I have been with a girl in about 2 years since splitting up with the girl who I was with for over 5 years, and I’d say this recent one was the closest thing I have had to a girlfriend; all the rest I’d classify as ‘very short term.’ She was really sweet and great in a lot of ways, but I’m really happy to be single for the summer.
4. I have been really good about not talking to my ex who I was with for over 5 years, because I know it’s good for me. It’s hard for both of us to stop talking to one another, but she has been kind enough to stop trying to contact me, until very recently. In a last ditch effort she texted me the following: “I need you to make me a workout play list of indie rock and actual good music.” At first I got all excited and thought about all the awesome up-tempo indie cuts I could put on that list, but then I thought, “That bitch.” I texted her back: “You are baiting me with a fun project. Dirty Pool.” To which she texted back: “I know. By the way your u r on the Swedish soccer team. #5 I think.” She ADMITS it and then just moves on. Now you see why it’s so hard to let someone out of my life who knows me so well and is so damn funny.