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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Todd Dills

6AM: Wake. Sit up. Smoke three cigarettes while thinking of nothing.

6:10: Light another cigarette. Clean coffee pot w/ overused sponge which smells at least strange, if not out-and-out disgusting. Grind beans. Set coffee to brewing.

6:15: Shower. Dress the lower half of body, shoes and all.

6:30: Pour Coffee. Turn on NPR. Consume light breakfast of one-half pot of coffee and at least four more cigarettes. Finish reading Barry Hannah's 'Testimony of Pilot' while thinking of how it is one is actually able to do this everyday. Remember that you have to be at work at 7:30. Remember to leave at 7 for work. Remember to dress upper half of body before leaving.

7:15: Leave for work.

7:30: Recognize people on the train and wonder for a second if they recognize you, particularly the blond student who is always sitting with her friend with the red hair. Remember that you are at least seven years older than she is. Feel really stupid and disgusting. Look around to make sure no one notices. Begin John Barth's 'On with the Story' for the third time.

7:50: Get more free coffee at Starbucks from the short Asian man who likes to give you free coffee. Wonder if he is gay.

8:00: Arrive at work, descend into thick haze of insurance adjusters' names and words and phrases like heavy-duty, conversion, P300, bye now, air ride, fifth wheel, need to speak to the appraiser about this file, horsepower, office ID, claim number, cancelled due to lack of info, turnaround time, length of stretch.

11:30: Go to lunch. Ahh, finally.

11:45: Eat very heavy lunch at the great and wonderful McDonald's restaurant. Wonder how long you can keep this up before you get fat and die.

12: Write in journal ideas for stories about cows while chain-smoking cigarettes outside of the Merchandise Mart. Read more of the Barth book. Resolve to never write again. Write more in the journal.

12:30PM: Return to the haze.

4:15: While talking to an insurance adjuster in New Orleans fantasize about being a monkey and living on the top of a roof somewhere on the near-northwest side, jumping from roof to roof and swinging on power wires to get around. Remember that you got this fantasy from a literary writer, that it is stolen. Laugh to yourself. Think fondly about the person who told you about the writer. Smile a lot. Send a buttload of quick e-mails to other of your friends who possibly have/haven't sent you an e-mail all day. Check every five seconds for replies.

4:30: Go home.

5:00: Check e-mail again from home while smoking cigarettes. Resolve not to check your e-mail so much.

5:30: Eat a very heavy supper of pork chops baked and string beans cooked in fatback.

6: Doze for thirty minutes.

7: Begin work on piece in which a younger sort of person has a compulsive e-mail-checking problem. Laugh aloud while beginning. Check e-mail again.

7:05: Go out to get beer.

7:30: Resume work on the piece, laughing now in earnest. Smoke more cigarettes.

9:30: Send this itinerary in an e-mail to many people.

10: Go to another friend's house to check out new postcards.

10:30: Talk with friend about money-making schemes. Get moderately drunk even though friend may or may not want to get moderately drunk himself.

12:30AM: Drive around the block up to ten times, looking for parking. On the tenth time attempt to squeeze into a space too small for your Sedan. When it doesn't fit, park with the tail end of your car sticking at least a foot into an alley. Worry about the rash of boots going around. Remember when your redneck brother was in town and what he said about that: "Now I'll tell you, boy, the last thing you want is the goddamned boot." Think fondly again about the person who told you about the writer of the story about being a monkey on a rooftop. Park.

1: Try to sleep. Smoke a few cigarettes. Think about the Barth reading on Thursday, the person who told you about the literary writer who wrote the story about being a monkey on a rooftop. Imagine yourself as a monkey sleeping on a rooftop.

2: Sleep.