Month: May 2012

The Damen Silos

I met some people living at Damen.

One was named Gon. I’m spelling it like how it sounded. Tall, skinny, wiry guy with a mop full of dry hair that had not seen the blessings of shampoo in a while. His high-pitched, staccato voice fit his figure.

Another was named Emily — true to her gender, she had an immaculate room. There was one other guy — his name was Mickey. Chubby, hunched-over middle-aged guy with sticky hands that have not seen the light of soap in a while. You never want to cringe while shaking somebody’s hand, but there are those rare occasions where keeping a straight face can be tough.

Gon and Mickey were both somewhat…idiosyncratic in speech and mannerisms. Mickey moreso than Gon. Nice guy, but one of those folks you can never have a real conversation with. Talks to you, but never really addresses your responses.

Never had a chance to meet Emily.

Not sure what I think about people squatting, fixing up and modifying a place they don’t own — I’m a fan of abandoned buildings as museums. And once someone makes a location their home it then starts belonging to them — urbexers are no longer free to traverse the location. But to give the squatter gang credit, they did an impressive job fixing that place up.

Gon had a cell phone. He pulled it out to take a call from his mom. I’m pretty sure I raised an eyebrow in perplexion at the time. How did he own his cell phone? Did his mom know where he was?

There are many ways to live a life.

There was some impressive graffiti. One particular empty warehouse has essentially become a gallery.
Free — my favorite cost of admission.

Apologies for the blurry pictures. My camera phone sucks (I am one of the few people in the world that does not own a Canon DSLR). And also, I took these pictures with an unsteady, surreptitious hand. I felt somewhat uncomfortable blatantly taking pictures without permission.

“Be Happy”

The words “Be Happy” are written in white spray paint on a green wire mesh fence overlooking the rocky shore of the Northwestern lakefill. As you can imagine, white paint on thin metal wires, it’s barely visible — can only be seen at a Goldilocks distance away, like 15 or so feet. Simple and crude.

But on a beautiful day like this, Simple stands tall above the intricate complexities that life has to offer. Absolutely smashes through them.

Music as a Crutch

We rely on music to change our moods, soundtrack our lives so much these days that I sometimes feel as if music is a crutch. We listen to euphoric music to raise us from glumness, angry/fuckyou music to prop ourselves up from insecurity, music only slightly more interesting than the boredom we wish to distance ourselves from.

But does listening to all this music on this constant stream throughout a given day come at the cost of exercising our mental willpower? From building the disciplined fortitude that allows us to come to terms with that frightening, isolating state — silence?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found that it’s become much more difficult for me to persevere through a jog without music. To have uneventful-time-spent-alone pass bearably and positively without a curated playlist.

I’m not sure I like that. I like music, but I don’t want to be a slave to it. I don’t want to be a slave to anything. I also want to retain my hearing into my 50s.


I think I’m going to take a walk around the lake right now. I’ll leave Steve Job’s Miracle at home.
I know it ain’t going to be easy, walking alone in the world. No Björk whispering into my ears to comfort me, none of LCD Soundsystem’s secure rhythm to guide my steps.