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Behind schedule, per usual, I present unto you the audio component of Assignment #2: The Bed Song.

Hear it HERE.

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Lest I seem like the type to not get things done, I want to update to let you know that, in spite of being three days behind schedule, I do have my song prepared, though I am hitting a few snags due to my outstanding Garargeband ineptitude. Until I can get the whole shebang up & running, please enjoy this anecdote in my lyrical stead:

A few weeks ago, I slammed home from work, crabby & tried as ever, having endured yet another day in customer servitude. Tossing my keys to the wayside, I looked up at the wall above my couch, the wall upon which had previously sat a large-scale vintage print, & saw…nothing. Bare wall. Bare couch. Bare coffee table. I froze.

“WE’VE BEEN ROBBED!!!!” I screamed.

A voice came from above.

“WE’VE BEEN REPO’D!” it announced.

The tallies began.

A number of emotional misalignments had struck my newest residency in the first weeks there &, rather than face any possible repercussions, we hid in our own Bacchian orgy. Weeks past, dust settled, & some hearts began to heal. Other hearts pussed up, became myonecrotic, began to emit their own deadly toxic gases caused by the remarkably resilient clostridium bacteria & decided that they wanted their shit back (have you ever wiki’d gangrene? It’s FASCINATING. Did you know that noma is the scientific name for gangrene of the FACE? AMAZING!).

I, personally, am not one for the whole “Swap Back” thing. If you let them wear your sweet vintage Batman shirt & didn’t get it back before you split, too bad. It sucks, but that’s the cost of the game. Whining about getting your things back is childish & a petty way of trying to stick it to your ex. Besides – if they keep your things, it’s, like, ten thousand times easier to polarize them as the narcissistic ass hat who ganked your shit & broke your heart, & trust me, that makes a way better story than just bitching about your lost crap.

In our cases, however, the demand for crap return was loud & clear. All wronged parties wanted their vexors to squirm. Literally.

So, they took the bed.

If you can come up with a better metaphor for a shattered relationship, I owe you a coke. I’ll spare you the details, but know that this was no easy task: the bed in question was on the third floor of our coach house apartment – an apartment in which a single spiral staircase connects the floors. Repo-ex took three solid hours to remove the item, returning to clean out any remaining possessions still lingering in our house. By the time I got home that afternoon, we’d been stripped from top to bottom & were in desperate need of a Donna Summer/PBR cure-all. After two six packs & one rotation of Bad Girls, I figured, hell. If Donna can do it, why can’t I? Thus the Bed Song was born.

Tune in tomorrow for tone deaf crooning, belted out by yours truly.

Beep beep.

Though it was only a casual inquiry, when Rob asked me, “To what sort of people are you asking these questions?”, I felt sheepish admitting the narrow scope of subject pool: Momish types. Boys on bikes. People I would ask for directions. People that, well, looked like me. My ‘dangerous’ foray into extroversion & prying has, in all truth, been a very simple, very limited run in pestering my peers. I’m not sure just who I’m shortchanging by playing it safe: myself, in missing out on my own project, or those of you out there who take glee in reading of my humiliations & failures. Shamed by my own narrow-mindedness, I aimed to spend the remaining days of Assignment #2 bothering people who didn’t look like they might have spawned from my gene pool.

I have a problem with prudence. Specifically, I have none. I am a 24 year old child & believe you me, I act like it. I occasionally try to console myself in my shared vices, like the joy I feel when I catch my coworkers on Facebook. After all, if employees of an organization as decidedly grown-up as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can have Facebook accounts, surely it’s alright that I do as well. Of course, they probably aren’t using their accounts for exboyfriend espionage. They also probably don’t think of salad as a vehicle for ranch dressing. Or that alcohol is a time-release drug

The point is, I am, like a child, frequently ruled by impulse, caught up in ideas that are edgy & provocative at first thought, but prove, upon execution, to be superficial & naive. It was with this very callowness that I, armed with inquiry, approached a homeless man in the Loop.

Initially, the idea seemed perfect. & by ‘initially’, I mean ‘before my brain began to process the ten thousand ways in which it was not’. Aged, black, & homeless, he was unlike me in every possible way. Shouting out “Streetwise!” and holding up folded paper, pedestrians parted around him like water. I watched for a while as the crowd ignored him, waiting for their light to turn green, & approached once they began to move on. I came at him from the side, notebook in hand, & stopped, waiting for him to notice me. He turned, & smiled. I pounced.

“Why do you sell Streetwise?

I hated myself the second the words tumbled out of my mouth. His smile went flat. I had intended to sound innocent; I came off like a contrived, puerile bitch. Here was a man doing his job, working, trying to get through his day, & I was harassing him – harassing. Not just impishly pestering him, as I had with everyone else, but harassing. I didn’t know who he was, or where he was coming from, or what he had been through, & I had the gall to think that my silly little project was big enough to intrude on his life. I wanted to take it all back, to press rewind & retract the last three minutes of my life, to do something, anything to change the situation.

He leaned towards me, stonefaced, & looked me in the eyes.

“I had to get my shit together,” he said.

He righted himself, & continued to look at me. I nodded. I bought an issue (of course I bought an issue – how evil do you really think I am?) & said thank you. He didn’t say anything, so I said it again, not a little desperately, & made my way to the blue line.

This was days ago, & I still cringe to remember it. I cringe writing of it. It was terrifying & mortifying & dumb – honest to goodness just dumb.

Two months ago, when i turned 24, I thought that, in this project, I would grow, mature, & chronicle the process in its entirety – but here I look back & see myself as childish as ever. I thought of the people I know who, at 24, have careers, have had successes, have gotten married, have had children of their own – complete little versions of themselves crawling around & completely dependent upon them. I’m 24, my friends are having babies, & I am bothering Streetwise vendors for a blog?

I called my dad today, a little on the freaked out side, & asked what it was he was doing when he was 24. His answer? “I was dicking around. Being a kid.” My mom? Not so different. I started to breathe, started to garner a little perspective. Had I been childish? Yes. Did this make me a child? Well…This need to “grow up” – marriage, kids, career, your whatever ideals of maturity – there’s no universal gauge. & there’s no finish line (thank GOD). So many of us are still children in our own way – maybe you still ask your parents for train money. Maybe you ask for advice. Maybe you can’t dress yourself – lord knows I can’t. But these little things – they don’t mean anything. Maybe, so long as you’re keeping you’re proverbial shit together, you’re doing alright. Maybe – for all different sorts of people – things are going to be alright.