Monday, July 14, 2008

Survival: Cleveland in 30 years and today

So lets assume I'm still alive in thirty years...
I know, it's a stretch, but lets go with it...

Inner ring Cleveland is a bombed out wasteland, seeded with weeds and broken bottles. On W. 25th and Lorain, the streets lie empty, lit at night by the few emergency generators that converted to solar before the big bang, but abandoned long ago by their owners. The population has moved out like the tide, to the suburbs, safe in their pre-fab communities with Trader Joe's and genetically engineered dander free ferrets, which stare at each other across the apartment windows like small trolls waiting to eat the next passerby. Nobody comes down here anymore except to dump the bodies. On hot days you can smell the rotten yeast growing like a giant mushroom cloud in the rusted vats of the old brewery.

I live here, in the old West Side Market. The windows are sealed with scavenged car underbodies. A pack of feral dogs loyal only to my whistle, wander the outside verandas. I live all alone in the tiled, musty amphitheatre, various trip wires and electrical wires crisscrossing the ceiling, my footsteps echoing across the New Deal murals. Across the street, in the old Bank building, there is a neighbor. We communicate through mirror flashes in the windows. Visits are impossible, the first two floors of the Bank are held hostage by a colony of wild cats, so desperate for meat they attack anything that smells like flesh immediately. They can hear pulses through the plaster. We keep an eye on each other though, he with his ground to air missile on the roof, and me with my ingenuius laser cannon in the tower. The black helicopters attempt a landing every few months, but we know better than to trust people we can't look in the eye. I use the tower like a lighthouse, to interact with other outposts in the wasteland, to warn of danger and also apply for arts funding.

Wouldn't that be sweet? I totally want to live there. Wouldn't you want to be the guy in the Bank building, and I could fall delusionally in love with you and flash you love notes in light on the bare crumbling walls of your feline prison?


I feel twelve saying this, but I totally made out on my birthday. I got a purse, a Julia Childs cookbook, watercolors, a cast iron skillet, 4 fans, a bottle of Cafe Patron, and an ice cream maker. Tomorrow I'm trying it out. The possible flavors are spinning around my head: lemon basil, coconut milk curry swirl, cucumber watermelon, goat cheese with chunks of fig and swirls of honey, earl grey, chocolate ancho, sweet potato praline. And of course, avocado!

Of course, as you all know, my sister was in town. Her show went well. Her poor friend Cameron drove way too far to it, and then back. I'm sure her mind is still reeling from the 12 hours of alone time. Friday was family day. Hung out with my sister quite a bit, went to dinner with my whole family, then made them watch Southland Tales. Used my birthday discount at Johnny Mango, and swore up and down to finally procure some fish sauce for my pantry. Umami sorbet!

Got taken to Lola's last night for my birthday. Had the crispy sweetbreads and took too big a bite, got a mouthful of soft fat and pancreatic sack, but with smaller more measured bites, quite yummy. Then the duck with pickled cherries and endives, awesome. And finally some perfect little round chocolate thing with hazelnut praline and raspberries. No Michael Symon, but there was Tony from Urban, because of course I spot him on my birthdays and also he always works at the nicest restaurants in town. Then got fucked up and watched Batman cartoons.

Today was a blur of sun, and blank expressions, scrabble grand masters and basement movie watching in the middle of the day. Today, once again, I do not do my dishes.

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