“Excuse me, sir, but your child appears to be seizuring. You should call 911.”
The father was not amused. In fact, I could see the fury light up in his eyes when I dared to tell him how to parent his son. I would be pissed, too, but on the other hand I wouldn’t let my child have a goddamn seizure in the middle of a frantic crowd. As if watching drunken fools stumble around aimlessly vomiting all over each other weren’t bad enough, now I had to watch this kid flap around like an eagle stuck in a bear trap.
I don’t really see why you would even bring your kid to the Chicago St. Patricks Day Parade, anyways. I’m sure your child would be wearing the same color as everyone one else. One wrong step, and they’ll be lost in the sea of convulsing green drunkards. Also, your kid could seizure.
I’m no seizure expert. The kid could have been suffering from heat stroke, Meningitis, or even a brain tumor for all I know. Maybe he was epileptic? Maybe he was suffering from a PCP overdose? Regardless of what the cause of this awful condition was, I was not in any position to help out. The only medical knowledge I have is from a Heimlich maneuver class I took in elementary school once, but I slowly forgot everything I was taught. God forbid one of my guests chokes on a bite while they’re over for dinner, because I would probably just throw my glass of water at them and run away.
It was early in the morning on St. Patricks Day, and with a good amount of good company, we set off for the show. Luckily my apartment was only a block away from the parade, which minimalized the amount of stumbling fools we had to bounce off of to get there. Close to a ninety percent of the people there weren’t even facing the upcoming parade. I can’t blame them; why watch girls that are pretending to be Irish dance around on green floats when you can watch fights, people puking on their significant others, and taserings?
It wasn’t long until we all had to find an unoccupied alley to urinate in. After finding one, we split up and stood behind our chosen trashcans. One second, all of my companions were within sight, the next, they were gone. Bizarre thoughts ran threw my head. Did they get picked off by angry frat boys, who were black out drunk and wielding two by fours? I saw them attack some poor homeless man in a parking lot earlier. Or maybe we were peeing on sacred gang territory, and they were mowed down in a surprise ambush? I could have sworn I heard about a serial killer around these parts who slaughters people mercilessly, and keeps their toenails as souvenirs. Oh no.
After calling them, and hearing their voices that told me they had already left, I collected myself and decided to wander around and try to find them. How the hell did they just forget me? Then more disturbing thoughts: Was I lame? Did they leave me to die there? What was wrong with me? Maybe I’m a nerd.
Luckily no one was sober enough to realize I was shoving them out of my way, as I sifted through the crowd. On any other day, I would have probably gotten stopped, and had my eyelids torn off and thrown into the river. There were far too many people crammed into Millennium Park, and getting pushed around was a way of life, which made me feel sorry for the short guy screaming about his Claustrophobia in the middle of the shaking crowd. Poor dude, life will get better.
Some members of the crowd would stop me and ask incoherent questions. I tried to ignore them the best I could and keep moving. It was only a matter of time until I offended one of them with my gestures, and got pummeled. I had a mission to accomplish, a damn good one at that, too. I had to find a friend, or friends, so I could surround myself in that good company before one of those wild drunks breaks my cheekbones with a pool ball while I’m alone and defenseless.
After one good speed walk down Columbus Street that ended with a very anticlimactic ending, I decided to turn back around. I made it all the way down Millennium Park without seeing a single person I knew. How is that even possible? The stars must have been aligned against me, or someone placed me under some voodoo spell. But, I don’t know anyone in the Deep South, so I doubt it was voodoo.
The second time I walked through the parade wasn’t any better. I just got déjà vu seeing the same floats twice, and seeing the same fights again. Where were the cops? They were all hanging around in the only places that weren’t erupting with violence or bodily fluid. I couldn’t tell if the people were purposely avoiding the cops to fight, or if the cops were avoiding the fights. I wanted to tell them about the two pregnant ladies punching each other at the corner of Congress and Michigan, but group of cops looked like they were having a good time. I didn’t want to disrupt their fun and risk getting a nightstick thrown into my face.
Fuck it, time to go home. I knew it was time to split when they closed the Bean… which I didn’t even know could happen. What’s next, cloning children and using their skin for coats? I hope not, that’s sick. I reunited with my friends people when I reached the homestead, and all was well.
I saw the river being green. That too.