Friends In Chicago From Afar

For some weeks May’s friend Charles was planning on visiting her here in Chicago, and I volunteered to help with the hosting duties on account her absurd landlord.  I’ve not formally made any mention yet, but this ‘May’ of whom I speak is in fact my girlfriend, and the ‘Charles’ character is a friend that comes from the year she spent in Argentina.  He is also the first friend that I’ve had the opportunity to meet.  Based on her descriptions Charles seemed to me a bit fastidious, so I knew that making the right impression and getting his blessing would yield some positive effects.

My apartment was already going to be a little crowded with the two of them over, but then I got a message from college buddy Spencer about he and his girlfriend’s imminent arrival.  A month or so prior he mentioned a trip back  from Japan and that he wanted to visit me, though that was the last I had head of it.  Spencer is fairly useless when it comes to communication and staying in touch, as you can see from our transcript below.

[6/9/2014 Justin Bussies: don’t be such a stranger, and let me know when you are planning on being home!
[7/4/2014] Spencer Warn: Hey happy fourth it’s official I will be back next month for a few weeks see you then
[7/6/2014] Justin Bussies: YES!
[7/31/2014] Justin Bussies: hey, which days will you be home this month?!
[8/8/2014] Justin Bussies: Call to spencerwarn, no answer.
[8/12/2014] Justin Bussies: you going to be here in the next couple of weeks?!
[8/15/2014] spencerwarn: Ya that is the plan I am swinging in to Chicago this weekend so get ready if we crash at your place
[8/15/2014] Justin Bussies: WHAT? Tomorrow!?

So for that Friday night, I took Charles over to the Brauhaus for his first ever plate of glorious curds, and May was kind enough to sponsor the round of beers.  It’s a German bar but I generally go with the Lion Stout, from Sri Lanka.  We were able to sit outside and talk a bit before heading back to mine.  I was possibly trying a bit too hard to foist myself into the conversation with charm and wit,  but we all seemed to enjoy each other’s company throughout the evening.  This selfie turned out a bit blurry, but here we are destroying those fried morsels of joy.

10410435_10152325883268506_7784123384585112884_nThe next morning they did things downtown, while I waited at home for Spencer and Aya to roll in.  I hadn’t seen the two of them in over a year – since my days in Japan – and I was really looking forward to it.  They showed up about 15 minutes before the train we needed to be on was set to depart.  The grand plan was to get downtown to meet our fraternity brother Nate, and also link back up with May and company for the rest of the evening festivities.  The one hour ride passed quickly as we reminisced on the days of yore, caught up on the more recent happenings of life, and dusted the rust off my Japanese.  A short hour later we arrived and began our stroll towards Nate’s apartment, stopping for a few pictures along the way.

10614023_485786924858277_1698987850_n Here was a nice one that Aya snapped outside the iconic Chicago Theater.

10617751_485787161524920_1248852241_nNate had just moved to within a block of the Michigan Avenue Mag Mile, and this was my first time seeing the new digs.  He had readied a couple sixers of Chicago brew and then led us to the roof of the building where we could enjoy them in the open air and surrounding beauty of the skyline.  It wasn’t long before the lovely May and her two friends were able to join us.  We finished our drinks before heading over to Timothy O’Toole’s for some food and additional beverage.  The Centurian men posed for a couple of pictures.

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Things were great at O’Toole’s, but we had a 12:30am last train to catch, and time was running short.  Everything looked like it would work out perfectly, but goodbyes took a little longer than expected, and we wound up having to run the second half of the way.  The five of us only barely made it aboard before it started chugging away from the platform, and we pretty much just collapsed into our seats, sweating and moribund.  May and I used a balloon that some random guy gifted us back at the restaurant as an impromptu prop.

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The next morning I awoke to the heavenly aromas of a cooked breakfast.  May took it upon herself to do up some eggs, sausage links, and biscuits, while also providing fresh doughnuts, coffee, and orange juice.  There are few things better than not only sleeping in on a weekend, but also waking up to something like that.  Spencer had already dropped Aya off at the airport that morning, so the remaining four of us went to town on the plethora of food.  I handled the dishes, of course.

10616542_10152327504058506_1070764796645599896_nWe spent Sunday afternoon at the Woodfield Mall, where I continued my wardrobe investment campaign.  I made the plastic melt, but such is no matter when when one considers the mileage rewards and values being reaped!  Back at home, I set to cooking some BBQ pork and green beans.  Things turned out alright, and after a quick cleanup we settled into the final chapter of the weekend, which was just a nice evening of chatter.  Spencer and Charles each stayed another night, while May returned home.  I got to bed at my normal 1:30am, since I like to be fresh for Mondays.

Throughout the weekend I was able to embrace my hosting duties and shoulder the responsibility of everyone having a great time – I get that from my mother.  I too enjoyed the opportunity to see those that I don’t often interact with, and make a positive impression on some new acquaintances.  Weekends like this are never long enough, and always take it out of you.

 

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