Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Neighborhood watch.


Sometime last night the high school directly across the street was tagged with large black letters proclaiming this section of Rogers Park to be, apparently, “Freakyville.”

In Freakyville tonight the snow has iced over again and the dogs hesitate to go for walks when they could instead sleep for hours on the couch, their noses curled into their chests, their legs a tangle of muscle and hair. The previously stated humanitarian effort has all but fallen apart in my hands, the deadline being pushed back repeatedly by the tyranny of empty pages, my desire to better the world thwarted by the half-dozen other things I agreed to do out of a subconscious desire to remain useful, to remain relevant. In Freakyville tonight I again imagine showing up at rehearsal with nothing new to fill the nine-play gap we rolled this weekend. In Freakyville the punching bag has been moved downstairs and the pinhole leak in my motivation has so devastated the reserves that I cannot even summon the will to walk down one flight of stairs and vent my frustration.

In Freakyville the groundhog sees his shadow one more time and I cannot remember the last time the groundhog did not see his shadow, cannot remember the last time that doomsaying little rodent didn’t condemn us all to six more weeks of this misery. In Freakyville we celebrate the imaginary meteorological prowess of an subterranean animal and become outraged when last summer’s Olympic hero, the Sportsman of the Year, is caught on film smoking marijuana; because it is hard to tell our children that anybody who has ever smoked marijuana ever is a loser, when one of those losers has won eight gold medals in international competition.

In Freakyville our finances make a rare and near-fatal misstep on the tightrope, failing to properly distribute the weight and timing between bank deposit and bill payment, the crowd below gasping in shock and half-wondering if the moment were in fact part of the performance.

In Freakyville my wife lies in bed fighting her second cold in a month, this one ferocious enough to start getting to me as well, and despite the good advice of friends who tell me to take some medicine, drink a lot of water, and get to bed, here I sit, forcing myself to write down anything I can just to re-affirm that writing is still something I do; that even if this is the moment when inertia finally owns my bruised carcass that writing is still something I do.

In Freakyville I make the mistake of watching the entirety of The Wire Season 4 just days before I am to start substitute-teaching Chicago Public High School students for the After School Matters program.

In Freakyville I neglect my teeth and my knees and the stiffness at the base of my back, I wear my bloodstains proudly, I spout a lot of nonsense about how at least I know I’m alive.

Freakyville is a one-horse one-traffic-light town, and the light has always been red, but a horse cannot see red.

I need to get the hell out of Freakyville.

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2009 by in Chicago, Mental Health, Politics, Society, Teaching, Writing.
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