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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Brian Costello

12:00 Midnight: Walk from the 3 Penny thee-ate-ah in still obligatorily symbolically paradigmically lame Lincoln Park to Sara's apartment in Boystown. Discuss "Blow," the film just seen. Pass the dark and vacant building that used to house Lounge Ax. Point out the importance of containing the yuppies (oh! how I hate them!) to this neighborhood so they don't spill out into areas where they aren't wanted. Talk about how Jon has lived around Boystown/Wrigleyville for years, and how much he hates those golden rockets with the rainbow circles around them that popped up in the neighborhood last year and how it's Orlando tacky, not to mention ugly, and hey, aren't gay guys known for having good heads for style and taste, so hey: what up w/ these rockets? Remain convinced that the North Side brings out the worst in every flora and fauna of humanity. Repress urge to raise fists a la Roger Daltrey and yell "West Siiiiiiiieeeede!" Other than that: enjoy the night, the (relatively) warm weather, the lack of West Side gangbangers, and the company.

12:24AM: enter Sara's apartment, occupied by her roommate and her friends, who are watching the end of "SLC Punk," when the mohawked guy O.D.s on pills given to him by the wicked mods, and Steve-O decides he wants to follow in his father's birckenstock-turned-wingtipped footsteps after all and be a high-powered attorney. What a bad example for our nation's youth! Did Brando cop out at the end of "The Wild One" and get a job selling shoes? Did the bikers in "Easy Rider" start a dairy farm in Vermont and make ice cream? Sheesh. However, recall the great soundtrack, and the funny scene when they steal the car and try to dump it in the Great Salt Lake and it floats on Great Salt Lakewater.

12:37: back porch. Enjoy the springtime night w/ Sara as she smokes. Watch everybody come out and follow suit. Accept Sara's request to tell everybody about when you were back home in Borelando (heh-heh) and Hoben and you rented the Candy Apple Red Firebird Convertible, driving it to Gainesville in cop shades, deciding that y'all needed to purchase the "Miami Vice" soundtrack, so youse do and cruise the streets of Gainesville blaring Jan Hammer compositions and then how you and your friends went to a party where there was a grass field across the street and Hoben took you and everybody else into the car and did donuts in said field laughing harder than you've ever laughed because the absurdity of each individual element (candy apple red, convertible, Firebird, aviator glasses, Miami Vice, donuts) combined into a moment of Christmas joy, made even MORE absurd w/ Patrick Hughes calmly jadedly informing the laughing maniacs in the front seat: "See, this is what I'm talking about. Everyday, weird things happen to me, and it wouldn't matter where I lived; if it was here or Nova Scotia, it would be the same thing. Accept his lame excuse for the big fish/small pond rationalization that it is. Forgive him for slagging your old band, the Whatweretheirnamesiveforgotten(s). Wonder if Sara's friends are entertained by your highly amusing anecodote--because they're not laughing--but maybe they're kinda high, or you're just not telling the story with a full voice and a sense of movement, or maybe you just had to be there. Wish that all y'all were there in good ol' Hogtown G-ville.

12:55: everybody leaving. You too. Hug g'bye, promise to call later in the week, and take a cab home. Think about the nice night and why you seem to have a better sense of direction and street locations than most cabbies anymore. Feel good that you didn't do what you usually do on a Friday night--go to Club Foot--but just the same, wonder who's there and how the action is tonight and is it too late to make last call? Yes, it is.

1:16: fall asleep reading a story collected under the title, "Best American Short Stories of 2000," and ask yourself, is this one of the best American short stories of 2000? It's like America's Funniest Home Videos: it's a matter of taste. Before sleepies, kick around idea of a comparative essay called "America's Funniest Home Videos vs Best American Short Stories of 20th Century." Reject it. Zzzz.


Wake up at 10:54 sharp, on the dot, in the AM. Call Patrick to see if he wants to get breakfast. He does, so strap on the headphones and groove to the new Spoon CD. Relish the part in the song "Anything You Want" when the guy starts singing like Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy: "'cause you know you're the one/and that hasn't changed/since you were 19 and still in school waiting on a light on the corner by Sound Exchange." Take the Blue Line to California for pancakes at Cozy Corner. Silently appreciate Patrick's defending you from your neurasthenic ex (and I do mean ex)-girlfriend's snide remarks when they cross each other's tracks. Discuss Cronenberg, your gradual shift into the cold waters of active political radicalism thanks to "Adbusters," the Green Party, and Our Blueblooded New Englander Disguised as a Shitkicking Texan Oaf in Office. Wonder what the spark will be to set me off as a revolutionary, along with everybody else, and how soon.

12 Noon: go home and write some journals about what you notice about tutoring tutees and try to convey a sense that you've absorbed the tenets of the Story Workshop approach so your instructor doesn't think you're just screwing around cracking jokes in your first babysteps of pedogogical findings.

1:33PM: download "That's Cool" by the Gizmos from Napster. Eagerly await Metallicaid.

2:53: nappies.

6: wake up to phone call. Matty will have an extra ticket to the Leatherface/Hot Water Music show at the Empty Bottle. "Yeah, sure, I'll go." Steve will call: they're drinking beers and hanging out before the show if ya' wanna come over. "Okay, let me eat first." Cook brown rice, black beans, red salsa, mix 'em up. Write about seeing Hot Water Music five years ago when you first moved to Gainesville and didn't have any friends and didn't make any that night, but still, the feeling that there was something pure and holy going on, like that last Spoke show, or Naiomi's Hair: Floridian Kids Defeating Florida. Remember to make a point to return the Chuck Barris autobiography that Sam had lent you to his friend who takes your money at the Bottle. Pat yrself on back for being so considerate and conscientious.

7:38: arrive at Steve and Sandee's, take advantage of the opportunity to play Tony Hawk 2 on their Playstation. Admire the DIY tilework of the coffeetable and the pink squirrels that you think are really otters that they got at some northside flea mkt. Get a buzz, cock.

10ish: take a cab w/ Mattie to the Bottle because Steve and Sandee wanna ride their bikes(?). Show up while Small Brown Bike plays. Wait in small line to get in. The owner of the Chuck Barris autobiography will see you, won't say "Hi." (but Rob Lowe will, because he's nice), or any other decent sort of civilized formality, just a "Hey man! Do you have my book?!?" (Said in a tone that sounds like the last thing he wants to do is acknowledge your existence, that the book, which he couldn't be bothered to call and make arrangements to pick up, is the only reason he would even stoop to a mere plebian like (hurumph) you, because, you know, he has a job at the Empty Bottle.) Answer, "Yeah, I do." and ass-u-me that the guy would be at least a little appreciative that you've gone out of your way to do this. But no: remove the book from my black bag and watch fuck-o snatch it from your hands like a spoiled fat kid grabbing a Whatchamacallit candy bar from his Mom in the checkout line and be amazed that all this asshole can think to say is: "What's this rip in the cover?!?" and indeed, there will be a two inch rip on the back of the booksleeve, and you'll be a little surprised by this reaction, figuring you'd at least get a "thanks a lot, that's really cool that you did this..." and you'll have no idea about the rip (honest). Accept the half-hearted (if that) "thanks a lot man..." like the slap in the face insult that it is. Walk away, reminded once again of what total and complete fuckers Chicago scenester types can be, while appreciating the good people out there who are your friends, acquaintances, or just plumb decent human beings.

11:33: enjoy Leatherface. Enjoy the testosteroned kids grabbing the mics and singingalong w/ Frankie. Really enjoy watching the dick who owns the Chuck Barris book jump into the crowd and retrieve the mics from said testosteroned kids.

12:21AM (It's still Saturday, ok? Lay off!): Hot Water Music. As you watch, think of how you really really want to like them, the way you love Von Lmo or Spoon or Jets to Brazil, but the cynical part of you will wonder why every fucking thing has to be such a HUGE deal. Like if they got a paper cut, would they write a song about it? "It hurrrrrrrrrrrrts!!! /PAPER CUUUUUUUUT!!! At worrrrrrrrrrk!!!! HOT XEROX CUUUUT!" Wonder if they, or your friends, would laugh at that, or just think you're a big jerk. Lots of macho dudes in the audience; wonder how far removed they are from Blink 182. Realize Steve and Sandee have left. Run into fellow expatriate Floridians, run away, but run into Jen and find out what she's doing later in the week and try making preliminary plans to do something fun.

1254: leave w/ Matty for Club Foot in one of those minivan cabs. Feel like a second rate has been rock musician on his way to a gig at the state fair in such accommodations.

1:05: stumble into your favorite bar, happy to see so many familiar, beautiful faces.

1:10: get hit by a spit wad from Chris, there with the rest of the band you're playing drums for. Get reintroduced (once again) to Sherilyn, who always says, "you named your band after me," referring to the now and forever defunct Sherilyns. Drink more beer: PBR.

1:23: Kevin will ask, "Why are you always here, man?" Here=Club Foot. Tell him it's the only tolerable place in these parts anymore, and it's fun, and the people are nice, and if this place wasn't here, I'd be home reading, and who wants to do that on a Saturday night. Actually...

1:56: Chris and the rest of the band will want to go to Exit. Refuse. Why go? I mean, you know why, duh, girls, but Exit always makes you think of brutes looking for fights...and maybe that's wrong, but not only that, 5AM bars make you realize why they passed laws ending the sales of alkie beverages at 2 or 3 AM in the first place: it gets ugly, dude. No shit. So stay at Foot until 3!

2: talk to various girls. Sarah (not Sara), who, as usual, is engrossed in the billiards table, talking to some indie-rock guy (damn!)--Danielle, who couldn't make the Sleepwalk reading to see you play a German bad guy jewel heist mastermind in a radio play (where you sounded like a vampiric Yoda) because her and her boyfriend (damn!) were too tired after eating--a St. Louis native insisting that the St. Louis Blues are the greatest hockey team this world will ever know, and to emphasize this, she yells, "Go Blues!" and asks you to follow suit since you were born there and all. (Chuck the owner will look at you from behind the bar and say, "Shhhhhh...." and you'll laugh.) So yell, "Go Bluuuuuues!" to humor her, and also because it's fun.

2:46: think to yourself, "Self: You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy..." Laugh, and think: "Hmm: Bright lights, big city, indeed...why, maybe in New York you can get a bagel at 3AM (eat shit Chris Howard!), but here in Chicago, I can hear a shitty post-rock Tortoise ripoff any night of the week!"

3: last call. Continue reminding everyone that this will be the Summer of Fun, so act accordingly. Leave w/ Matty, who will have a girl's digits w/ writing above the numbers: "Give me a call so we can get together and hang out!" or somesuch. Remember yesterday, and how much fun that was w/ Sara, and today, how much fun it was w/ friends. Gosh! Stumble to Aranda's for quesadillas, chips, y salsa and take up Matty on his offer to crash on his couch while watching "The Big Lebowski" on DVD. Last thought before passing out: "Hey, they got a Beefheart song in this movie! Awesome!" Thanks Easter Bunny! Bawk bawk!