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Thursday, June 12, 2008

City Doldrums

I really need to get out of this city.

Living in the heart of Chicago for the past three years now, I've been reluctantly mastering the Art of Asshole. By Art of the Asshole I mean the ability to abandon almost any shred of human decency or respect for others.

Stolen car radios, regular graffiti clinics on your building, wallet-emptying parking tickets and vehicle stickers, crazy drivers, bicycle riders getting killed by motorists, and ridiculous murder rates are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the soul-sucking aspects of being in the middle of it all.

Whereas a few years ago in the halcyon days of my former college-town habitat I might kindly step aside and let an elderly person take the last spot on a crowded bus, now I find myself nearly shoving grandma aside and down into a bottomless sewer ditch in order to save that last inch of space for myself, being all like "This is MySpace, grandma!" as she goes hurtling down into the darkness below.

Thusly, it's time for a change of scenery.

In a few weeks my fiancee and I will be backcountry camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, Michigan. We will be boarding a ferry near the northernmost point of the Michigan peninsula and from there we'll sail to a nearby island that is completely void of all of the wonderfully dehumanizing trappings of the big city. While I am slightly concerned about my ability to go several days without updating my facebook status, I take comfort in knowing that we'll be away from all the drudgery. Far away to a place where things like tripping over a homeless person camouflaged into the sidewalk or street cleaning parking violations have no chance of ruining your day.

While we won't have a car, electricity, a cabin or bathroom facilities on our tiny island, we will have necessities like sleeping bags and a tent and a water boiler and some space food. We'll spend a pair of nights there before the six hour drive back to the city. Just enough time to begin to yearn again for the accoutrements of civilization, for the real necessities like DVR, wireless internet, drive-thru Starbucks, and facebook status updates.

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