Here are some photos of my new place in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. I have much of everything in place, but I’m still working on organizing the stuff you can’t see — like boxes of CDs and other things in closets. But it was together enough that I could host my first party – a housewarming gathering of 25 souls, 20% of whom were named Elizabeth (two Beths, a couple of Lizzes and a Zib).
In college, I performed in a dinner theater production of a play called Bad Habits by Terrence McNally. It’s a pair of one-act plays each taking place in a sanatorium. The facility in the second act is called Ravenswood, and I played a groundskeeper and helper named Bruno, described by a local reviewer as “grubby, leering and over-sexed.” The nurses were named Benson and Hedges. I chased one of them around the stage, exposing myself to her and saying “hubba-hubba Hedges!” I remember an elderly couple who were regular theater patrons pulled me aside at a later performance of a different play and asked “how could you play such a filthy character?” I told them I was just acting. I’m rarely that despicable.
Now I live in Ravenswood, and it’s not a sanatorium. And there are no nurses in my building. But I do live in a third floor penthouse with 14-foot ceilings in the living room/kitchen and a strikingly beautiful set of front windows looking out on the trees and the birds. A friend tonight called it an aerie. And I just adopted that as the name for my home. An aerie in the wood filled with ravens.