There are two subversive forces at work in the apartment complex I live in (three, if you count the mailman). The first of these is a cat I cannot curse at enough. Sarah has claimed that one of these days, Chester (as she has christened him) will be living with us, and I have said in no uncertain terms that we will have had to have death-matched and I’ll have to have lost for that to have come to be.
(Please note in the most previous sentence to this, I used “had,” “has” twice, and “have” a ridiculous six times. I’m not proud, but point it out and I’d like to invite you to come stare at my high-falutin’ writing degree sometime. So just shut yer yap!)
So Chester tends to just sit out in the courtyard between our door and the exit to the complex and meow his fool cat head off. Sarah pets and coddles this lay-about while I say “Git!” and rush at him as though to kick and swat and gnaw. The cat usually runs, but he does it less and less the more he realizes I’m not going to punt him out onto Belden. Or so he’s come to believe.
The other disturbance to daily life is this soused old broad living directly above us who seems to rearrange her furniture every morning for three or four hours by dragging it heavily across the floor. No doubt she celebrates this pre-noon accomplishment with a half dozen Tom Collins pitchers and a carafe of vodka.
We made the mistake of accepting a few bottles from her once, under the assumption that a) she wasn’t looney tunes and b) that the bottles had beer in them. Wrong on both counts, we were then regaled with some of the most inane cackling gibberish this side of Macbeth, the result of which is that we no longer open the door at knocking, from anyone. So don’t come a rap-tap-tapping here, chief, cause we got wise in a hurry.
Once the lushwell was ejected from the domicile, Sarah (incensed that we didn’t even score free imported brew from the ordeal, but instead some gross, treacly ginger ale) uttered the now famous line: “I did not sign up for this, crazy old lady!” We then debated for a few days whether we should move.
But we stayed. And so has this batty, screeching nutcase upstairs. And so has this pathetic, freeloading cat. And thus has been Chicago, across the first month. But! I haven’t even revealed the story of my drastic reinvention as a man, a worker, and a human being (and I’m not just talking about this new haircut I got!).
In the next and hopefully last episode of The Great Chicago Experiment, job interviews, CTA, and password amnesia! Tune in!