Week three; act three. I am not on a commuter train today, but I am at O’hare. If you asked me how I was doing I might reply with, “cellular exhaustion.” This trip has been beautiful and horrifying and gorgeous and wonderful and draining and terrifying and inspiring and absolutely too much but also precisely just enough and exactly what I needed.
I’m headed “almost” home. I’m going to quarantine for three days in a crummy 2 star hotel until I can get a rapid PCR test. Testing on the road has been quite the experience. I’ve frequently shared my test results and adventures on social media.
I am a testing junky. When was my last test? Where is my next test coming from? Gotta test today gotta test today… It was a nice thing to talk about with people, how to travel responsibly. Most folks were pretty suprised with the lengths I went to on my tour. I’m vaccinated. I wear a mask everywhere. I PCR every week. I rapid before I leave any domain.
It is the final day of half hidden’s month long opening. There is a seven hour performance from Emily Sprague, an art gallery, a metaphysics reading room, dogs. Dan and I are on music room duty. We teach the public and kids about monome gear and show them how to make music. It is so much fun to see kids play with the instruments I’ve built. They are so open and happy and fully of energy and enthusiasm.
Day 17: Meadow
Day 18: 9/11 Memorial
As frequent readers of Northern Information may be aware, 9/11 is an important aspect of my personal mythologies. In my layover in NYC I visit the memorial. Last time I was here it was still under construction. For some reason, I thought going to the memorial would give me closure. Everything would make sense and I could move on. Poof. Trauma gone.
Instead I walk around the two pools in an infinity symbol just crying and saying, “fuck, fuck, fuck” over and over again.
9/11 is now more confusing.
Day 19: The Hotel Where All the Clocks Were Wrong
Back in Chicago, back to Highland. Jon and I spend the morning reflecting on how much the pandemic has cost us. Emotionally, spiritually, relationally. The business is fine. We’re not. We walk by the old Highland office. I’m pointing to where I used to sit, on the 10th floor looking out over the Art Institute and into the celestial blue of Lake Michigan.
Day 20: Central Camera
Katie-Sue and I walk down to the lake and smoke a joint. We’ve had an incredibley challenginging year together keeping Highland running. We make an awesome team.
We walk back to have dinner and pass Central Camera - one of the key locations in the saga of my life. You know that feeling in RPGs where you finally make it back to town so you can go to the inn and all the stores to stock up for your next adventure? Yeah, Central Camera would be my first stop when I get back into the town. Stock up on film and pick up any camera’s that got repaired. Window shop for bigger items out of my skill level. It is devastating to see it boarded up.
Day 21: Pocket Universes
I wake up and head to work. It’s an intense day of cleaning, IT, organizing, getting the network setup, prepping for an all team meeting the following day.
After work I meet with Glenn for sushi. He drove up from Michigan just to see me.
Then something happens to me. I still cannot quite put my finger on it. I find myself at the Skylark. I’m walking up Halsted. I meet people. I see neon angels. I visit a shoppe. Paranoia sets in.
Higher planes probing. Lower planes striving.
Didn’t those two people just pass me a few blacks ago, but from the other direction? Are they following me? What’s going on? Why isn’t my phone working? Is the big one happening?
This is my city - oh city, my city. I know these roads like the back of my hand. I laugh aloud and crank up the metal. I realize the playlist I’ve been working on for years is finally complete.
The city is alive.
I can feel it.
I make a new friend.
I message with old friends.
There are other layers to everything. A complex fractal.
This trip is more important than I realize. Than I may ever realize.
The point of the trip has been to continue rebuilding the new in the shell of the old. There has been love and light and support and hope at every step of the way. I cannot emphasize this enough.
I walk back into my hotel and feel like I just got away with something - like I had just run a dungeon 30 levels above myself.
Day 22: Thin Blue Line
This morning’s test was the most emotional. A positive result would mean I couldn’t fly. I couldn’t go home.
Alas. The thin blue line told me I was clear.
This weekend I will be holed up in a hotel and I plan on sleeping for approximately 36 hours.
Thanks for reading about the S♯A♯B∞ Tour, space cowboy.