Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Stories of Chicago, the Weekend of 17-May 07.02.03

Malfait’s wedding was beautiful, stunning; Priti was as beautiful as always. We drank, we ate Indian food, we were having a party, y’all.

Now, B-ball Jamie, I met at the reception talking about the Midwest and sports. Specifically, how the WU women’s team whooped up on Knox College, where she played forward or center. Yes, she is like 6-feet tall. And really disarmingly pretty and smart and at med school with Priti. She is also married to guy whose name might be Jared. I don’t know, he is big, I don’t care, he’s a dude. I’m straight up with it. He was nice.

Anyway, the reception is ending. I call for a party in the room next door to mine—Ali and Feiser were loking to sleep. Perlick and myself were looking to keep our drunk up. The next door is Tamin, who is always game to keep going.

So I’m like who wants to go to the Jewel (grocery store) next door?

No response.

So I’m like who wants to go to the Jewel next door?

I get Glazer. An exuberant young fellow who works some people’s nerves. He’s one of those guys who you think cannot be genuine. It’s the voice that sounds like he is trying to sell you advertising, or the skinny guy selling you financial services. But he and I go to the Jewel—

And realize we’re in Skokie Illinois. They don’t sell beer after midnight. Glazer of course starts to haggle, and argue. He offers the checkout guy $30 for the case “I know you’ve got in the car,” as Glazer puts it. Glazer is in a blue suit with a purple shirt and a purple tie, I am wearing tan and white, we look like such drunken interlopers.

And that’s okay, because we’re drunken interlopers running and yelling across a parking lot in a Skokie strip mall, across from the hotel, cursing this bum-f**k town, wondering how we ever survived our four-year exile to the Midwest the first time around.

And we’re the drunken interlopers who are schmoozing with the front-desk guy and calling for a cab in the middle of the night to take us to some drinking.

Our driver’s name was Alex. In that 30 minutes or so, we learned he was originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, and had lived in the states for 5 years and enjoyed it.

What took us a half hour, and $25 dollars?

We had no idea where we were going. One CVS and two 7-Eleven’s later we are at this restaurant that we figure must sell loose beers. Except it’s a Mexican place, run by, I am pretty sure, Mexicans. I don’t know, I am ignorant and I didn’t ask. What I do know is that I thought I was having a conversation with the waitress but really, we didn’t understand each other a lick. I’d had a lot to drink and was empowered by having the schmoozing Glazer next to me.

Luckily, the brown skinned cowboy stepped in, unbidden, and translated. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening. They didn’t have any beer. I thanked the cowboy, Glazer was frustrated.

One important, forgotten detail; in the cab, waiting for us, were B-ball Jamie and Nebraska Scott (I think that was his name). We were rousing people in the lobby to go with us. Jamie’s husband wasn’t so happy but she and I had spent the past hour and a half conversing so I asked her to come along. Scott, I think, I met when he and Malfait’s friends came from Nebraska to our WILD festival sophomore year; I kept falling over them on the floor that time, and it pissed me off.

So we go back to the car. Alex points out a bar across the way—he’s having a good time with us, I think, and we’re asking questions and just having a good wholesome All-American let’s get drunk time. We are looping back to the CVS, across the parking lot from the bar. Scott and I go in and drop some coin on loose beers, placed in a cardboard box. Around us are what look like Northwestern students or high schoolers, I’m not sure. They are loud and they make me feel old, so we take our booty back to the car.

And I turn to Jamie, long legs hanging out of the car, peeking out of her black dress, and I’m like, “where is that f**king Glazer?”

The sight of him busting tail from the CVS like he done stole something from Joseph Stalin’s porn collection was a sight to behold. Glazer is a slim guy but everyone who has met him simply cannot imagine him running. He is all arms and legs and just looks silly. I’m used to him stationary, drinking everything in sight. I busted out laughing.

“I had to get barbecue chips,” he huffs, “for Anne.” (For those in the know, yes, Anne, Sapna, and Jen and the “Krypies,” Fein, Edlevi, Flem, Tamin, Luke, and Larry were at the wedding.)

In the car, we’re finding our way back at top speeds on empty road, just headlights on lanes of asphalt. I actually turned to Jamie and told her I wanted to clone her and bring her back to NYC with me. I’d had a lot to drink. If I didn’t mention that.

But the interlopers returned with beer; Jamie was returned to her husband; Malfait made me do shots of Maker’s; we got kicked out of the room for being too loud; I slept in my own room and had a vicious vicious hangover. I couldn’t eat tacos until 6 pm, and that’s why I came to the Chi. We did have a great moment the next AM at the IHOP, the WU kids from the wedding and Feiser—who had Luke staring at her ass the whole reception long. But he was sobering now and not being creepy, and we went our separate ways with well-wishes and smiles, as Priti begins her residency and her marriage to Malfait.

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