Full Details of the BIBJ Millennial Playlist Hullabaloo are available here. Today's entry is #8: Lua by Bright Eyes (2005)
Bright Eyes - Lua (mp3)
I originally moved to Chicago from Connecticut in the first days of 2005. I lived here less than four freezing months. This Bright Eyes album (along with Funeral) basically served as my soundtrack for the quick stay. In fact, when I think about my time living in that terrible Chicago apartment, there are two images that immediately come to mind:
The first image is that of listening to “Lua” on my iPod on the El ride and subsequent freezing walk home from work at 1 or 2AM during those few months. The song is lonely, sparse and desolate, stunning in its simplicity. Every aspect of this song lends itself to introspective walks home, even when not accompanied by a skinny junkie.
The second image is that of waking up the day I left Chicago and wondering who had robbed my apartment.
I rolled out of bed hung over and with 3 hours sleep from the previous night’s going away party. I walked into my living room. My couch, chair, and ottoman had vanished. I stood over the imprints in the discolored gray carpet and tried to piece together what the hell had happened. It seemed…let’s say highly improbable that someone could have robbed me while I slept. But perhaps it happened while I was out the night before, and I was too drunk to notice when I stumbled in? Still, that theory seemed highly improbable. Who would take furniture (let alone shitty, old furniture) yet leave the television behind untouched? Slowly the pieces of the previous evening fell into place.
I remember the birds were chirping. I exited the taxi in front of my apartment around 5am. This was not good. I needed to leave the next morning, and still had plenty that needed to be done before leaving the apartment.
Back during the next morning, the images started to form over the next 10 to 15 minutes. I recalled sections of the previous night’s inner monologue after walking into my 4th floor apartment...
"Son of a bitch. I need to get rid of all this tomorrow. Fucking Salvation Army. I couldn’t even get those assholes to come pick this up! I thought they were a charity! What kind of charity flat out turns down donations because they don’t want to pick them up! This is absolute madness. I’m going to need people to help me haul all this shit into the alley across the street just because the Salvation Army would rather wave a white flag than spend 30 minutes taking this crap. A perfectly usable bed! Put a throw blanket on the couch and it’s good as new. How can they call themselves a charity! I’m going to be in miserable shape tomorrow. There is NO WAY I’ll be in any shape to move furniture tomorrow, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to ask anyone to help me just because the Salvation Army doesn’t want to help out society by offering up a cheap couch or bed. Fuck it. This shit need to be gone and it needs to be gone NOW!"
It took three trips. One for the chair. One for the ottoman. And one complete bitch of a couch. There is an elevator in my apartment, approximately 50 feet from my door. I remember being inside the elevator with the couch propped onto it’s side, but still don’t quite remember how I carried it into or out of the elevator itself. Some people are angry drunks. Some people are overly affectionate. Some pick fights or admit secrets that should remain buried. I apparently haul furniture.
I like to imagine that an ambitious runner woke up at 5am to take a Saturday morning jog. In my mind, said jogger ran past the corner of Pine Grove and Cornelia, and would he or she have glanced to the north, they would have seen a relatively intoxicated man single-handedly carrying a couch across the damn street to the adjacent alley. And what a glorious image that would have been.