These are the kinds of things that get shouted at you by a drunk man hanging out a bus window during Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. There are better pick up lines out there, but, since his bus continued to speed down the street, I decided to take his words as a compliment.
If you had come along with me, I have a feeling I would have been a comical sight. A red coat surrounded by a mass of green, I was trying to find the Blue Line. Unfortunately, I forgot that particular line ran under downtown Chicago. Once I was finally where I needed to be, I made my way to The Galleria Café , where about four people sat at individual tables.
Feeling incredibly awkward because I didn’t recognize anyone, I almost ordered tea before realizing I had to spend five dollars in order to use a credit card. This didn’t work very well considering I almost never carry cash on me. With no sign of Mr. Monk, I sat at my own table, made my way to Twitter and kept a look out to see if any of those four people looked at their phone. After a few minutes, with no response from the Twitterverse, I decided to look for evidence in the Tweets of @CultureMonk. He wasn’t at the Galleria at all!
on my way to Filter Cafe, Wicker Park Chicago - #stpatricksday of all days!—
Kenneth Justice (@Culturemonk) March 15, 2014
Lucky for me, the Filter Café was only a six-minute walk away. I was not in the mood to try navigating the Chicago CTA again.
I walked in with a game plan. Not only did I have no idea if a friendship formed online would easily transfer offline, I also didn’t trust myself to accurately recognize Mr. Monk from his blog photo. The plan was to sit on a sofa and look around to see if anyone looked at me like they knew me. Turns out I didn’t need that plan. As soon as I was in view of the café interior, I saw a smiling face and a waving hand.
He was in the middle of a conversation with the owner of the café. I won’t spoil any of that since I’m sure he’ll being discussing the conversation on his own blog at some point. I’ll summarize by saying that I don’t think his life is cut out for me. There’s a kind of romance to owning your own business, especially a place like a café, but that kind of dream comes with a unique kind of stress.
It was around 9:30AM when I arrived and pushing 2:30PM once we finally parted ways. You see, I have this condition. When someone keeps talking to me, I can’t stop talking. In fact, I probably won’t stop talking until you ignore me or tell me to stop. If you engage me in topics I’m particularly passionate about, I will talk that much more.
Typically, this is a detriment to my social life. It’s half the reason why I started this blog. I don’t meet very many people who want to engage in that kind of conversation. I know a lot of people who think no good can come out of discussing social and spiritual issues we talked about outside of changing someone’s opinion. However, I like to think that there is even greater good to be had from people who can respectful discuss their ideas and come to an understanding of each other without necessarily reaching an agreement.
I understand how that is uncomfortable with issues that are dear to people. Take the belief in a higher power. In order for a believer and an atheist to understand and respect the other’s opinion, they have to understand the logic of the other. In a way, they have to try to see the world from the other side, a similar thought to doubting their belief. I imagine that’s something a lot of people wouldn’t dare.
Having made Mr. Monk late for his appearance at The Galleria Café , we said our goodbyes. I traversed through the CTA system and walked among the green clothed drunks downtown. By that time, the festivities were over and the masses were making their way towards Union Station. My red coat stood out, which is probably why the drunk guy in the bus noticed me.
This is the part where I tell you my boyfriend was with me for most of this journey. He wasn’t interested in the heavy discussion he knew I was looking forward to, so he walked the city streets and read a book on the other side of the café while I talked Mr. Monk’s ear off. He had a big smile on his face when they drunk kid called to me. My gut instinct would be to assume he was talking about someone else, but there wasn’t another person wearing red around us. Later, D would tell me he heard him yell, “girl in the red coat, you’re gorgeous.” I know what I heard, though. It’s possible the man yelled both. I may have missed his statement while I looked around. I’m always staring at the sky while in the city. The large skyscrapers are memorizing.
Eventually, I made my way back to the burbs. My weekend was finished off with a night of Cards Against Humanity and a day of taxes. I can’t wait for that tax refund to come in. My official conclusion from this weekend is that meeting bloggers in person is awesome and should happen more often. How many people would come to TK-Con?