Previously on Reports from the Road, Bryan received gifts from old friends and overheard a conversation concerning shit and figure skating. Today, Bryan takes shots at us (we'll take it this time), and Chicago, while revealing a touching story of a pizza date and his less than honorable intentions. The National only have a few shows left with REM, but there will be many memories to come both here and on Flickr.
DAY FIFTEEN (6/6): Chicago.
If you're keeping score, it was not an Uno's but an Old Chicago Pasta & Pizza we visited back in Colorado. Double fault, Brassland.org.
The last time I was at an Uno's I was fourteen and on a date with a girl named Emily. She had developed early and well. Once, we held each other close, swaying from side to side, to "Stairway to Heaven" (even during the "And as we wind on down the road " part) and I felt pizza at the mall might seal the deal and get me to second base. But it was not to be. The so-called pizza was utterly macabre and I kept staring at her boobs underneath her Esprit sweater. We rode home in a doughy silence in the back seat of my mother's Taurus.
Years later, Emily was killed in a one-car accident on a dark stretch of Ohio highway. Other kids I knew from back then are gone now, too. Brads and Jasons, Wills and Jennifers. Suicides, overdoses, more car wrecks. I would wrap them all up in my arms if I could see them again, take the keys, pills, or whatever from their hands and tell them that there is another life after all, that despite the controllers' best efforts to terrorize and infantilize one and all, nothing is fucked. I look like Jesus or John Lennon now; perhaps they might believe me.
Anyway, the United Center is another indoor sports arena in the Midwest. A larger, (and if you can imagine) icier version of the venue in St. Paul. This is a big-market town. The Bulls play here. Michael Jordan strode these same halls. Blah blah blah. I hate Chicago and I don't feel much like going into details. (Or deets. The next person to utter this "word" gets a large Uno's pizza right in the eyes.)
In short, itthe tourgoes on.