Please Love Me

I left Chicago on a cold September morning 23 years ago. Tonight I have returned.

The occasion is the third stop on my “Love Below Tour.” Tonight finds me performing in the living room of one Rebecca Ryan. Rebecca’s parents took my mom in during my parent’s divorce way back in 1980. And tonight Rebecca’s taking me in. She’s a school teacher in Lincoln Park. It’s gonna’ be cool.

As cool or cooler is that I’m hanging out with my cousin Andrew. He’s quite the musician on his own accord, and actually toured well prior to me despite being a little bit junior. Come to think of it, he remixed “Summer’s Gone” for the “Summer’s Gone EP.” His is the “Radio Joe Edit.” I gave Andrew his first guitar when I stopped through Denver en route to live in Telluride, Colorado, some fifteen years ago. He was about sixteen. Now in his late twenties, he’s far surpassed my capabilities on guitar.

That it’s cold and drizzling here in Chicago only makes the nostalgia that much more palpable. I lived in Oak Park, the first suburb west, for about five years. Some of my best and worst memories are here. The rainy skyline brings them all back.

Chicago makes me wish (as I often do) that I am Jeff Tweedy, driving a ratty Toyota to the studio to introduce the band to my new song, “I’m Always In Love.” Instead, I’ll introduce my cousin, a coupla’ old friends, and a coupla’ new friends to “Love & Other Indoor Games.” Then I’ll fold the cold in my jet-lagged palm, and turn for home.

I’ll meet you when I get there.

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