DONT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT (11/2002)



Word to the wise, never leave home without your make-up and something that compliments your figure. You never know who you'll run into. A future mate, an old one, or both! Take it from me, I've had univited reunion after uninvited reunion for the past 4 months. It started in Evanston and slowly worked its way to the local White Hen just 3 blocks away from my doorstep.

You know how the situation plays itself out, you catch a glimpse of a oddly familiar face, your body rushes with heat, your mind races- scouring the ancient files tucked deeply in the brain for a match, the match is made and the flight response kicks in and you immediately seek cover. You don't do this? Well I sure as hell do! The truth is, Chicago (over any other city) is crawling with the largest number of people who would like to see me dead. What is the source of all of this hatred you ask and do I deserve it? The answer is a 'break up' and 'yes'. Topping my Guilt Hot Fudge Sundae with whipped cream crowned with a cherry is my break up with Man-X.

A break up of nearly eight years ago and I'm still hiding behind the hot dog buns and muffins. I did that very thing when I spotted my Man-X just feet away in a local Dominicks. Heart racing, I dropped to the floor and started grabbing all the bread within reach as if burrying myself in hot dog buns and english muffins would make me invisible. Jay was standing next to me in total confusion- he couldn't decipher "Oh my god - oh my god - oh shit shit shit shiiiiiit" and the sudden compulsion to cover oneself in bread. I was able to stutter "Man-X" to Jay and ask him for guidance. It was as if I were blind, "left or right, which way do I go?" I kept demanding, crouched between the bread and fresh cakes. Jay directed me to the liquor section and suggested I do so quickly. Once I was behind the wine, I immediately remembered that Man-X was a drinker- I hit panic mode once again. I couldn't recall if Man-X preferred Ales or Stouts; "Would he want wine, if so which, white or red?" I searched for Jay all the while trying not to be seen. Jay spotted me in my desperate state and gave me the 'all clear' signal. Shy and still shaking, I slowly crawled my way to him for information on the latest Man-X position.

I survived that episode, and many others that included a team of two who chased me through the aisles of a favorite art supply store, as if I were the gazell and they the lions. I was forced to try and out run my predators. These two later cornered me two additional times on seperate occasions in different locations. They're stealthy and they communicate silently with each other as if by telepathy, one sees me and the other knows I've been spotted. These two are in Man-X's band and are true followers, enough so to do Man-X's bidding.

If you thought it couldn't get any worse, you'd be wrong. On my most scruffiest of days, my ultimate White Trash Dedication Day, I was caught by yet another committed Man-X follower. This meeting took place in my neighborhood, just blocks from the safety of my apartment. There I was looking frightful and ragged, straddling my bike asking Jay to run into White Hen and grab us some cokes when a man I instantly recognize slowly emmerges from the store. This man is Man-X's best friend, the very one that I met for the first time when I met Man-X, the very one that Man-X confided in and shared everything with. This man, however, was dressed in blue and black and was walking towards an official looking vehicle equipped with lights on the roof, the kind made for umm, say, PULLING YOU OVER with! Yes, Man-X's best friend is now a Chicago cop. Despite my desperate and weak attempt at trying to hide behind Jay he spotted me like an America's Most Wanted Criminal. Within minutes I was questioned and searched. All he found on me was total embarrassment and an 8 ball of lameness. Several nights later I saw Man-X's in action, saving my neighborhood from several hoodlums. All I could think was, "I wish he could see me now, in my nice dress with make-up on". So word to the wise, always wear that wedding band, some lipstick and a push-up bra... dress to impress, and be ready to run in those Manolo Blahniks!


Other sightings have included: Fellow courier Fed-Ex Driver, Hector in Target. Creative soul, Taylor, on NPR reading his essay. Further Festival act, Rob, Thai restaraunt on Belmont.