Michael is a musical force in his own right, always was. The talent that made Von a sensation at 12 helped Michael stand out at 21.
Lincoln Park’s blues scene comes alive in a cool, thumping tantrum of Chicago sound. Belting voices, bottleneck guitars, the melancholy sirens wail all night long in the dives and doorways near DePaul.
It was just an experiment. It seemed more an imaginary test than anything I was doing in real life. But every two weeks, I’d drop another dose.
A gentle hush fell upon the apartment, one as quiet as the moment demanded. All I heard was the pounding of my heart telling me to do it.
Right away I knew. Of course, you never really know, do you? Not with epilepsy. But I knew. For the first time in eight years, no aura.
Dennis came in on a revolving door. It ushered him in. More than a year later, it escorted him out. After New York, I never saw him again.
Gazing onto East Seventh Street four stories below, people looked like figurines. Some walked their dogs, others carried packages. One couple, holding hands, stopped to steal a kiss.
More than 20 minutes into it — with my nose fully fragrant and recess over — it hit me. I hadn’t gotten flashing lights in two months. The dizziness was my new aura.
The dizzy spells came every month after that. They always lasted for 30 minutes to the second, it was weird. The blend of vertigo and pressure felt more significant than anything I’d experienced, and I couldn’t shake the notion that it meant something profound.
I wish I could remember where my mind was that April morning when the weirdness began in earnest. Because the day started like any other, with more sunshine.
At first I wrote them off as a startling nuisance, like the random couple who barged into my apartment one Saturday. I heard the key fumbling in the lock, two voices in the hall.
In line with Sue at Einstein’s Bagels, the place echoed as if to say I wasn’t well enough to be there. I recall the overwhelming scent of hazelnut coffee. People staring.
Sue would see “Lincoln Park Hospital” on the caller ID and let it go to voicemail, and she did. Who knew if she was even still awake?
I sat on the curb, a block from home and so far from it. The man who hit me was there, asking how I was. He was gentle, kind. I couldn’t even hate him, and I wanted to.
When the bus didn’t leave, I knew destiny was in play. It’s one of those things, like missing a plane. You wonder, why did I miss it?
I was half way across the street before my life changed. I couldn’t see the car, just two blinding headlights set an ungodly width apart. Their whiteness barreled toward me with no sign of slowing.
I still pray in the bath. Out of habit now, not out of necessity. Once a place becomes a shrine it stays that way forever.