Loveless in Hell City

“My friend said that she thinks god lives in Tel Aviv. I told her that if that’s the case, the devil certainly lives in Chicago.” My roommate continues cooking his dinner and I think about it for a second.

“Yeah, the devil definitely lives here.” I reply. I think about the 4AM bar just down the street, and the guy who tends it that wears Urkle glasses. I think about the bedrooms I’ve woken up hungover in. I think about my personal poverty in such a restrictive sense, like eating ramen and drinking PBR somehow make me less of a human than the corporate grind and the false sense of security I felt before my mother died did.

I’m not short on adventures. I’m currently writing about my near orgy at a truck stop motel in Pennsylvania last weekend. I tend to find definitions of the meaning of life in transient strangers. My genius sprints. I can get people to be golden with me in shorts period time, but longevity has been hard for me as of late. I’ve nearly forgotten what intimacy is, or what it feels like. I chalk it up to the universe saying, “I need to be single right now. I trust the path I’m on. I believe in what I’m fighting for.”

But do I? I have no idea on what I need or what path I’m on. I feel like I’m throwing punches in the dark and have no idea who my opponent is or if I’m hitting them. I have no idea if I’m on a treadmill or actual ground and I have no one to guide me through any of it.

The devil is a spiritual roofie making a physical place seem godless. It obstructs your sense of security in the same way diving head first out of your comfort zone does.

When I was driving down Lakeshore in the pouring rain last Sunday, the wheels of my rental Altima cutting through the water like the sound of gunshots on an otherwise quiet night, I could feel the warmth of my home seep out of my pores and onto the road behind me. I could see only a few feet in front of me. I cold hear the gospel music coming from the radio singing “Christ will save you” with such conviction, I wanted to believe it.

But even if it were true, I’d like to think it was me who got myself home that night, through rain and ice, on winding roads I didn’t know.


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