This journal was begun at a train station in Barrington, Ill. waiting for the Metra Train to Chicago at 11:16 Sunday, Aug. 27. I am on my way to the Field Museum. I want to see dinosaurs and whatever else stands in my way. I'll stay until 16:30 and then will have an hour train-ride before I continue east. Here comes the train. Last night I ate at McDonalds (Jen's business) and then watched Saturday Night Live as I searched for a certain e.e.cummings poem. The train is very full today, as compared to yesterday. It is bustling with constant voices, mostly Spanish Green trees and bushes intermittent lakes, and swamps swim by my window. Is that the aquarium, or am I in it? I'd hate to wonder who's watching us. I slide my week ticket in the pinching clip, just before the conductor comes my way. He never looks at me, my ticket will do. Now, buildings are sometimes replacing the lakes. Parking lots are now the swamps. Air conditioners and antennae ma be watching picking up something from me to them. A man with a gaunt chin and body, higher in the shoulders in the head marches by. A mexican woman in a striped breasty shirt glances me up to her eye contact before she sits facing me in the orange leather chair. I am cross legged in maroon shorts and in Immer Fragen Varum "Speak Out" shirt.
People are now standing down below. Cubs hat on an old melanoma man getting off. His eyes are onyx. Suspenders keep everything up, including the mustached on this glassy eyed shadow of a man. Wide shadow. Two dark bug-eyed shades face me. I can hardly read/write dirty train. Young flower dress removing canvas white shoes, keds, from bare sweaty feet. Aluminum sublimity of equal space between boys. Protection by separations. The niply nubs of safety bolt heads, and the latino woman facing me, flips her seat, so that her rich black hair is in my face, course and holding a wad of it between fingers and opposable thumbs. Requested by a young man, what a boy. 8 years or more to move, she assuagingly yessed a nod to me instead of the boy. He with "Can you move please" and to flip her seat around. Next stop, Cumberland. I sneeze on my stomach, collapses inward. A tight egg folded over into a bowl of flower, dry and crunching. Everyones back to school. I'm a missing the threat of new people. Competitions. I mustn't out-speak anyone here, they will ignore me, they do not desire to win. Simply going on and spelling the others who tire before them. Out the window BANTUM DOUBLE DAY BELL, a publishing house outside the station. There it goes. My ticket still remains affixed.
A few nights (2) ago, I played soccer with 3 Americans and 4 Mexicans. Akee, one big man, younger than all, strong and a god kicking all and else. Big fertile stomach, exquisite smile, and competing against me, I was visiting his girlfriend, this has happened to me before, he bought me ginseng iced-tea. He said I'll always have a friend in him. I did not compete. Why give the satisfaction of two bulls knuckling horns. I would rather take the gifts which the male thinks will show an upper hand. I don't want to impress in any way, but polite conversations, gentle assurances and compliant willingness.
I'll walk alone today, this book in my hand, and my pen tucked neatly away in my pocket. Parking lot, emptied by an even greater, the lights flashing infrequently off or on. Black ball, hard volleyball, beach ready, too black to see, feel the play, freak out and kick into the bushes or road, I can't dripple it. Jazz fest in Chicago next weekend. Jazz with that black ball and four mexicans far better with their feet than me.
The young red flower dress blankly staring through my lust. Her brown hair in a green bobby band. A park out front (side) with trees jutting as the sitting of the people in Seurat's day at the beach the nostrils constant flare, pouting, her lip tucked up into the tops enclosure. My ticket keeps being checked. Readiness is all. There, out the window, the chicago fire department building was. One of them, in Joliet, burned down last night. The fire fighters could not put it out. Couldn't they get their on time? Is the sea so serious. Is her black rich hair so sea of swirling tangle. Strait-like rails, jutting like the conscious nostrils of the young red flower, who is now yellow and gone. Another McD's Arch. Something I would have never noticed until I was inside the kitchen, the french fryer. Old gray and balding ponytail man, bright pink shirt just got off, or is waiting to. There is a woman down there, I am on top. She looks polish. She looks scared. She wears brightest flowers of only colors. Her lips are small and very pouting. Her muscles gather angry on her neck. She is much older than I believe she could be.
PROFILE, make all majic. They dance as shadows, silhouettes everything, even muscles are silhouettes. Breasts and thighs are nothing but shadows. Patience and pursuit. Lightning and darkness. Black. A window is holes are shadows of time zones and in a normal house bent over gods. Gentle rain, river swallow me with fashion and newly pressed olives, the ripe dark frost hanging in an open mouth, a yawn. As rich as fortune my milk is dripping. A naked jewel of fascination hangs sweetly from her rugged ears and I follow them like vultures around a pack of lionesses. Women kill faster than I would.
The opposite page tells you where I've been. The Field Museum where they have a special bats exhibit. The museum overall was huge. I got lost in individual sections. But do you think I cared? I kept wandering, just as I had done to find the museum. I wandered for over an hour through sections I hadn't yet. All because Jen said it was west of the art museum. It was SE. That was off.
I SAW BATS TODAY. AND DINOSAURS. AND TOTEM POLES FROM THE AMERICAN NORTHWEST. I SAW ANIMALS/ENDANGERED, EXTINCT, AND UNPROTECTED/ALL DEAD.
I would have stopped in the Chicago Library, but it was 5 minutes until opening, and I can't ever stop moving. My legs are wildebeasts, tired and weary now, but they want to roam. I would have gone to the aquarium, if time possessed an unwind so I could stay instead of go on to my next stop on the Boston road. I should just stay another night here, but I want to go to a park and camp out. Where that would be, I do not know. Perhaps I'll drive all night. So I'm sitting on this train. Well, how'd I get here? I left the field museum at 16:10, ran along Lake Michigan, stopped as I walked through the Latino Festival for cheese pizza, which I spilled crushed red peppers on, so that it was entirely covered. I had no choice. I ate it as I walked. Then I began to run again. I missed the train by minutes, along with a few others. So, options arose. I decided upon the Sears Tower, where I overlooked the city and heard stories about buildings down dangerously below me. That was a good time to think about how I felt being an only American among tour groups and old people, who do not count. I was happy to see that those looming buildings below had names and histories. Many are very beautiful here. It would be a shame if they didn't have stories. I drank some water at a fountain there. Walked passed the Billy Goat Tavern of Jill's lore, and how I wished it was open. I am so thirsty for good beer.
The train is going to have to give me some satisfaction. I was asked if I cared to buy Chicago Homeless's version of Street Wise. When I refused to purchase it, he yelled to me "You piece a shit". How happy I am to be valued this way. What did I do but neglect to pay for a paper I didn't buy, and for verbal assault from a pour StreetWise guy. I'm on the train, getting off at the next stop. Then I'll head for I-90 and drive until I find a campsite. I wish I had started 2 hours ago. It's 19:30 and I don't think I will make it anywhere nice by tonight. Perhaps I should stay here, but I'd rather escape reality and camp. It is such a freedom outdoors.
The morning after multiple bottles of wine, we woke a bit later than planned and I took the opportunity, after we went to the church to test the acoustics and plan out the ceremony. I walked to town with Andreas, Christina and Hanno. Andreas, the Swedish Exchange student who replaced Lars while he was in the USA, directed me to the post office. I wrote a number of cards, sent them, and wandered around the lovely town, stopping to drink a pint, or is it a 1/2 liter, and read in my book while the rest of the town was setting up for an upcoming festival. I also got a chocolate and nugget crepe with marzipan. Wow. Then I met the others for dinner.
Rachel picked me up at work for lunch, and I took her to a bridge in Phelps park that I have walked to during lunch by myself. Despite a few bugs, and beets in our spaghetti sauce, which we had over italian bread, we had a lovely time. Then we went downtown to look at a cell phone to replace my drowned one and get some coffee. She picked me up at the end of the day as well, and we stopped by my mother's house to see how she was after her last week of radiation therapy in Rochester. We then joined Gayle, Lee, and Jacob at Goodtimes in Caledonia for dinner and to look through the huge number of pictures from the click cameras at our wedding tables. After this, we went to Sarah's house to check out her new patio and drink by the light of the moon and a lovely camp-fire that spit sparks at everyone downwind. I went to bed early, leaving them to talk behind my back, and Rachel rolled in about 02:00.
La Crosse, WI
We picked up Frida, our Norwegian Daughter for a Year, at the La Crosse Airport at 20:20 tonight after spending the day preparing our house for the upcoming year. We picked up the Mercedes after it got its brakes, freon and light bulbs replaced. She had been up for 24 hours, but was still the most pleasant daughter you could ever hope to have. We showed her her room and then all went to bed, finally a family.