Street Smart Chicago

Love & Sex: Look at Me

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By Jessica Meyer

I barely knew this woman, but I liked her, she was brash and witchy, so when she pulled me into the bathroom at a party I was too old for, brandished a compact full of dope, and asked me who I was fucking, I wanted to tell her something scintillating and mysterious, but the boring truth was this: I was freshly raw over the end of a serious relationship and hadn’t had any action in months. I tell her how long it’s been, how much I just want to rub up on these sexy young men with swaggering egos and tight pants, they are writhing so close and smirking through the beer, and I’ve been dancing, and here, I admit, I get a little breathless, going on while she cuts up lines and nods, solemn and intent.

She meets eyes with me in the mirror, checks her nose for residue, and tells me, with conviction, “I know someone.” I follow her out, amused, protesting a little—”I’m not really that kind of girl!”—but then I get swept up by the DJ, he’s playing Prince, and everyone is going nuts and it’s fun, even if I’m older than everyone here, I’m having a good time, and I really am that kind of girl, who am I kidding.

I’m only 27, my heart is broken, but my desire to fuck attractive men is not.

I see my wild new friend through the crowd, she’s talking to someone and soon enough a boy with sweaty hands and a pretty smile is sidling my way and grabbing my hips. He says he loves my hair, does this endearing move with his face in my neck, and my weak resolve is thoroughly ruined. Yes, I say, I will go home with you.

We are both only vague friends with our matchmaker, and have, in fact, met before, but briefly, and without the maelstrom of desire that seemed to engage every person at the party we had just left. He drives us to his house, furious kissing at all red lights, and by the time we get there, I am so ready I have already unbuckled my belt, removed my coat, unbuttoned a layer.

There is something cinematic about struggling up flights of stairs while trying to sustain a passionate embrace with someone; eventually, though, this feels ridiculous and it’s a relief to get in the door and out of my clothes. Read the rest of this entry »

Love & Sex: The Bitter Taste of Amy

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By Pete Bailey

She pukes.

All over the car door, the passenger door, my car’s passenger door, as we sail north up Damen Avenue, New Year’s Eve. We’re only two drinks into the evening—I’m driving, after all, and we’re heading to a place we can crash for the night—and she vomits a great awfulness all over her side of the car. Two friends are in the backseat, a couple, Jane and Fred. Amy, my date, looks mortified in embarrassment. She’s got puke on her pink shirt.

“I puked.”

“I know.”

I turn, pull over, stop in front of Nick’s Beer Garden, and Jane takes Amy inside to help her clean up in the tavern’s bathroom. Fred and I sit in the car; I’m furiously wiping away the two-drink upchuck on the interior. Fred repeats “Dude” over and over again, each utter more and more dramatic, until the women return. Read the rest of this entry »

Love & Sex: A Break-Up

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By Lisa Buscani

When we started, I was thin. My face was a diamond, all clean walls. I was weightless but I had control, like astronauts after they learn to swim properly in space.

Our conversations used to overlap and dovetail and interweave and occasionally we’d stop to breathe. When we made love, we knew how to forget ourselves. That, I’m convinced, is passion; to kiss him so hard and hold him so hard that the act itself is forgotten and all that is remembered is skin and hair and warmth, that’s a gift. That’s something that we kept for a long, long time. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

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This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Pat Quinn
The governor won the democratic primary election for Illinois governor. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Hate leaves ugly scars,” wrote author Mignon McLaughlin, but “love leaves beautiful ones.” If I’m reading the astrological omens correctly, Aries, you’re scheduled to receive at least one of the beautiful kind of scars in the coming months—maybe even two or three. In fact, I think they’ll be such lovely booboos that they will markedly add to your overall attractiveness. Rarely if ever have you been privileged to hurt as good as you will in 2010—thanks to the benevolent jolts of love. Happy Valentine Daze! Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Mike Martz
The offensive mind was tapped to be the Bears new offensive coordinator. Finally. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Will Astrology

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By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.” So said the ancient Greek historian Polybius, and now I’m conveying the message to you. I hope it will serve as a spur in the wake of your recent triumph. Will you be content with merely basking in the glow, frittering away the provocative potentials? Or will you get down to business and use your new advantages to upgrade your destiny to what we might refer to as Aries 2.0? Read the rest of this entry »

Unplug and Recharge: Arianna Huffington addresses Columbia College

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Nearly two hours before the night’s speaker is scheduled to go on and yet people are already buzzing around shaking off the weather inside the Conaway Center at Chicago’s Columbia College. A woman directs people to the registration line. A man jokes to his friend about her hair, but she chalks it up to the wind. A trio of adults weigh their chances of getting into tonight’s event. It feels not unlike lining up for dodgeball. No one wants to get picked last.

Two student ushers direct people to the overflow room and tell the lucky ones—those who registered early enough for tonight’s event—that the Film Row Cinema will open shortly. A few men try to flirt their way out of the room and into the theater. “I’ve got overflow tickets,” a man in a ball cap says, smirking. “How likely is it we’ll get in?”

A woman appears in a headset, “You know it’s really hit or miss. I don’t want to promise anything.” Read the rest of this entry »

Could Haiti Happen Here? If disaster struck Chicago, would you be ready?

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By Tom Lynch and Ray Pride

Imagine the cool crisp air, Thursday, February 4, 2010. The temperature’s unseasonable again, creasing 40. Stepping out into the day, deep breaths are taken across the city. The sun shines off the glass-clad skyscrapers along the Chicago River. The Brown Line clatters, clickety-clackety and clean as a toy over the bridge above the waters. A tall boat’s coming through, it’s after morning rush, the bridge tenders point State, Dearborn, LaSalle, Franklin, to the nourishing sunlight. There’s a cloud in the sky, a large white shred, moving west slower than a stagecoach, as if it’s been part of the prairie forever.

The first rumble is more like a grumble. Cheap car alarms on cheaper cars sound. Antsy cats rise to fearful attention. The skies go still. The air stalls, hum of man and nature just hangs for an instant before the rumble comes.

The streets bounce with canisters, like stovepipes, like drains from rooftop water towers. They clatter from the sky: cellular towers shatter in mid-syllable, shrapnel dazzling in the brilliant late winter sun. The projected face in Millennium Park freezes, sizzles to black. BAM! Another punch, another lurch, another roll: the cloud moves to the lake, placid, impassive, several cars crash into several more and into the parked cars along Michigan, rumble, crash: The Bean drops from its mooring, drops, rolls, onrushing down Michigan where the cars have parted, reflecting that one white cloud as it wobbles down—then the center line tears like a paper towel, neatly like a perforation, and The Bean is swallowed by the warm earth. And it shifts again…

It’s always an abstract apocalypse until it occurs next door. Tragedies are what happen through the television screen, the Internet, right, much farther than arm’s length? Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange, News etc. No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers

1 Barack Obama
The president celebrated the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. Read the rest of this entry »