Tuesday, September 23, 2008

bg/ish: The B-Sides...

* Editors Note: This story, originally supposed to run in several parts during and after bg's first ever trip to Chicago, never did see the light of day. We are not sure why but it likely has something to do with the excessive debauchery that occurred, and thus went unreported. This post encompasses the completed first installment, and never completed second installment. *

BG’s Taste of Chicago

I received the call shortly after 2:30 a.m. In my groggy state, I was initially uncertain of the caller’s validity.

bg, pack some ish, you’re going to Chicago.”

“God?”, I replied.

“No stupid, it’s ag. I’m calling you to remind you that you are flying to Chicago early this morning. Now, my duty is done, so I’m going back to sleep you bastard. Have fun, and come back with a compelling story for the site or you’ll never see your PS2 again.”

Those may not have been his exact words, but like I mentioned earlier, it was early, and I am not always my sharpest in the a.m. hours.

So here I sit on an early morning flight to Chicago, unsure of my purpose, knowing only that I am soon to experience and see things of which I have not seen the likes before. My only concern at this point is what exactly ag considers “compelling”.

I can say for certain that flying in the post-September 11 era is an utterly joyless and tedious experience, and I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fear it seems has been bred so deeply within us that every fellow traveler suddenly becomes a potential threat. I was fortunate enough to avoid a cavity search this time through the airport, but I fear for some of those I saw being prodded and corralled into small dark rooms. Perhaps those rooms were only in my mind, but what difference does it make, really?

I look up from my computer long enough to see that “I Spy” is this mornings in-flight movie, which could lead me on any number of tangents about the sins of Eddie Murphy, the slumming of Owen Wilson, or the general hate that is being projected from a small television screen above me. I spend the next few minutes trying to think of new and exciting ways to describe the pure dick punch that is “I Spy”, but something in the movie's first five minutes has caused my brain to reboot and I end up sitting idle.

Certainly life can get no worse than the moment you realize that you are hurtling beyond your control at hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet in the air, strapped in a metal chassis that weighs some unknown number of tons, with cinematic vomit being spewed upon you.

I cannot set foot in Chicago soon enough.

I begin to wonder what kind of arrangements ag has made for me. Who will meet me at the airport? Will there be a code word or some sort of hand signal? Shouldn’t I have known this before boarding the flight? If my guide believes me to be an impostor are their instructions to kill me? How far does ag’s power reach? Come to think of it, has anyone ever really seen ag? Could I actually be ag? Is this all just a case of déjà vu? Did somebody spike my coffee?

My better judgment tells me that it’s probably time to bring an end to this first installment. I really have nowhere else to go with it until I actually set foot in this place the natives call Chicago and get my first taste of it. I’ll report again tomorrow, that is if I survive the secret handshake shit that’s sure to come. Well played ag, well played indeed.

* * * * *

The plane landed roughly under a clear sky and I wondered exactly what the pilot had been drinking for the last 4 hours. A young child a few rows in front of me gave yelp of terror, which only served to get a laugh out of me. Some of the passengers in my general area felt the need to turn around and give me disapproving looks, but I knew that somewhere inside themselves they had the urge to laugh as well, they just couldn’t locate it in time.

Unsure of what would await me upon my exit, I cowered in the back of the plane until I was asked to leave by a male flight attendant who may or may not have been gay. I suppose it matters not, as neither one of us was looking for a good time.

I stepped out of the tunnel and spotted my contact. The way the afternoon sun filtered through the windows made her look beautiful, or perhaps I only imagined her that way. She was working undercover behind the airline ticket counter. She looked up only for a moment, and flashed a quick smile.

“This way”, she said.

We quickly hurried through the corridors of the massive airport. Chicago O’Hare Airport is the kind of place that makes you want to stay home, pour your favorite drink and watch your pet play with it’s favorite toy. It is a distant place with no distinct personality to endear it to you or anybody else. It served its purpose, though, and just as quickly as my feet had hit solid ground we were on a train speeding through the suburbs of Chicago...

* * * * *

As usual, bg loves you and hates you just the same.


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