Monday, July 8, 2013

too much beauty to sleep

We used to go on Cleveland drives all the time when we were younger, when we were twenty, of let's see how far this road goes and what's on it, we've never been to this neighborhood before let's go there, oh wow, how did we end up here ( in the projects at 2am on Martin Luther King Day, in the spooky dark national park listening to Patti Smith's Horses and feeling a sense of hauntedness, cruising through subdivisions cranking Jay-Z channeling the id of teenage boys, singing along to bad classic rock and slap-happy, listening to Minor Threat and yelling die yuppie scum at dressed up art walk denizens.

We found all sorts of strange beauty on these travels, and never felt afraid for the most part, because the car provides a tank-like sense of relative invincibility that bikes and two feet do not have. We haven't done this in awhile, with work schedules and in her case a significant other and my life's been one thing a minute too.

And now we're older and there is more weight on us, and we have no music, and so much to catch up on, and there are no new streets because we've traversed every neighborhood so many times over, and she goes into every hood in Cleveland for her job, so we cut through East Cleveland where all the streetlights seem to be out but the traffic cameras are everywhere, where the towering hulks of abandoned apartment buildings and decaying mansions loom on the periphery.

We'll need gas and a bathroom at some point but despite our intrepidity, the darkness is so intense, the heat and the corners make everything seem to throb with a what will happen next and we drive past no-tell-motels and storefront churches and I wish I felt like I could shoot photos without feeling like a white-privilege voyeur, and the eastern suburbs lack the sense of landscape, or it's the 1950s kind where things never really took off and half the store signs are for businesses no longer there, and we get late night waffles and talk about everything that's been going on, processing through the bad, laughing at the good, with little nostalgia given how I get sentimental about these things I love so much and we turn in earlier than usual, around 2am instead of 5am, and I wake up late the next morning feeling like half the day is gone.

There is time in the garden, and time catching up on sleep, and time spent pondering the universe with good souls, and walking up the street to an afternoon noise show where folks were friendly and I felt bad for holding my ears through half of it even with earplugs, and it was interesting, it reminded me of my prof who was in Fluxus back in the art school days but I'm just not a noise kid. I like noise with structure, I like songs, I like things that don't remind me of going to the dentist or hanging out next to a jet engine but that is me and purely me. 

I got the art stuff out last night because me and one of the radio girls wanted to get all collagey and I couldn't come up with anything, I need to not be so rusty with all that, it's just that when the days are this golden and lacking in loneliness, it's hard to.


  1. Heck, you don't have to go into the projects in Chicago to get your ass capped, just walk down the Magnificent Mile with an expensive smart phone in your hand. Or, fall asleep on a park bench, doesn't matter where, the game of beating someone to death is quite popular in the Windy City.

    I used to love to listen to music, still do, but I have to admit that my old age has taken away the part of my brain that could appreciate the fine music of this younger generation. Wait....who stole my walker??? Damn kids.

    1. we're the 10th most dangerous city (down from #2 a few years back in the prime of our cruising nights), and it's strange because while stuff DOES happen on a regular basis, there's not really any no-go areas here either. Though when I went to Detroit, I didn't feel nearly so tough.

      And what's funny is, that music really belongs to the generation before me. I'm getting this way about what The Kids are into and I'm only a few months shy of thirty.