good luck following this one

I haven’t thought of Ferris Wheel in years. At the time I thought it was a great paying job and fancy to be working down town, even if it was a little diner next to the alley with the bathrooms down stairs, down a long mirrored hallway…with rats I heard about but happily never saw. I made more money than many of my close friends and they were all I knew to gauge by. Never mind that all of us were broke, living too many too an apartment or in a room at an SRO where we shared a hall bathroom and showers with strangers in near by rooms, many of them not all there or way too there. I remember first, the roaches, especially the one shown to me on a plate under a cut omelet. I would have been way more grossed out than the woman who calmly complained. I didn’t shake my coat and purse out when I went home from work because the roaches lived there too.
Once a bunch of albino ones took over the cat dish. Too bad I didn’t take pictures since I’ve never seen anything like them again. Though now all I have to do is google “Photos of albino american roaches” and I’d have my pick. I could probably add, “in a bowl of dry cat food” and get even closer to the reality.
I remember 3am at Kafien Kafe too. Late night walks, fearless, down Chicago Ave. What was I thinking, or not? Notebook in hand, pen, money for a cup of coffee or 5, cigarettes, light and maybe a book for mind breaks. This was my life. I liked it. The first and second time I lived there.
The first time I lived there I helped produce an open mic on Tuesday nights. I worked in a restaurant down the street owned by another Greek man (like at Ferris Wheel) who screamed a lot (the owner at Ferris wheel fortunately did not scream, but he did talk fast and a lot). Didn’t phase me, that’s what Greek restaurant owners do right? One day about three months in to my employ there I decide he was crazy and so would I be if I stayed one more day. This kind of logic that acted quicker than sense that should have had a small bit more concern about where I would eat when the money ran out was responsible for my having and losing a good 50 jobs over the course of 9 years (not a typo, and thank goodness people grow up). I had a colorful and creative application. My favorite part of that job was the 5am quiet walk.
I like 5am. In less than 2 hours it will be 5am again, only I won’t have the benefit of 8 hours sleep to enjoy it by. Hopefully I’ll be in my bed at 5am, unaware of the constantly shifting numbers we all agree represent forward motion.
I started out at Ferris wheel and followed my hands here. Where are we? Are we at Kafein Kafe, watching smoke curl, form a straight line then dance off the end of a Marlboro, lodged in a black plastic ash tray, neglected as my busy fingers scrawl out the words in my head, coffee getting cold? Are we looking at the pale bugs eating cat food? Are we wandering to the shared bathroom with creaky white painted doors that close by a hook latch on the inside once you walk up one oddly placed step? Are we listening to the upstairs neighbor listening to the Beatles at an alarmingly loud 10, his feet thudding as he dances or something resembling?
Or are we right here, listening to the quiet, grateful for the learning of lost youth, grateful to be found, thankful that 2 sweet beautiful boys are asleep in their beds after a long day of laughter and play, struggles, frustration and victory (always big victories at this young age), thankful to be married to an odd sort of man who makes me laugh a lot and think deeply but most importantly, challenges me to consider how I might help someone else (among a much longer list of wonderfulness)?
I’m here, lap covered in a fleece like blanket with a Native American pattern on it, tap tapping black keys on my fancy laptop. I’m here in a way I could not have imagined from my room at the SRO with the missing Murphy beds. I’m here, happy, content, grateful and surprised, happily surprised.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *