Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunken Valley & Journey to the Stall

A couple of weekends ago, a good childhood friend and girl friend were in town to visit. We took a walk downtown after dinner to kill time before an after party for the Chicago Underground Film Festival (his experimental sitcom Dare Double was playing at CUFF). They wanted to see the lake. So we started walking eastbound from Wabash. My original thinking was to make our way through Millennium Park, but I got intrigued by the set up of tents and booths and a blocked off little side street stretching east from Michigan Ave. It the was set up for the art fair. But we kept walking through towards the lake. This took us through a strange little township it seemed of its own origin. We took some stairs down to what seemed like a sunken downtown valley, a park nestled, hidden between a surrounding mountain ridge of condominium towers and luxury hotels. A lush park trickled with fountains and throbbed the color green. I've lived in Chicago for 9 years and had no visual awareness that this little park area existed, as it is tucked away from one's sight-line from other major areas of downtown where you have business to romp around in. It had it's own little cafe and bank branch for the service of these secret like "townsfolk."

At different points each one of us had to go to the bathroom, number 2. My friend's girlfriend went into what we thought was a hotel. She asked "where's the bar?" to the front desk attendant. He responded "there is no bar."
"I thought this was a hotel."
"No, this is a condo."
"Oh, well I need to use the bathroom."

They were nice and accommodated her, taking her and my friend down a spiral stairs while I waited outside for what seemed like a very long time. I wondered about what I would do if they never emerged. They did emerge, having pooped in the employee bathroom at the far of a strange, expansive grocery store in the basement.

As we changed our direction to head back into the city, I had to go number 2. I went inside a hopping luxurious hotel, like I meant business and made my way straight into the bathroom. The floor in front of the check in desk glowed. The bathroom was one of those which had set up each stall like its own little closet room. Leaving the hotel we passed by a homeless man asking for money. His approach was "I got crabs and need to buy some cream." I enjoyed his tactic. If I had change/cash I probably would have lent.

Anyway, my friend suggested I started a blog about places to poop in the city. I thought it was a funny notion and I have plenty of such stories to tell, so I may or may not incorporate such into this Igloo Oven blog here. I did a door to door sales job awhile back for a month and it required you to be strategic about gaining entry into bathrooms. One of my territories was on the edge of Hyde Park. There was medical building which was pretty much vacant except one MD office on the first floor. I walked in like I owned the place and went into the elevator up to six. I explored the creepy, vacant hallway with abandoned boxes of paper work and dust. I thought I heard ghostly noises. I pooped as quickly as I could and went back out into the world.

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