Tuesday, October 29, 2013


It was a weekend of photo shooting and hanging out and pretending that there was no homework to do and coming home to be introverted with a bunch of candles and incense and Arvo Part and spiritual tomes. 

The sky was so gorgeous when I got home from work that I came home and grabbed my camera, threw on some grungy clothes, and drove down to the wastelands to snap photos of graffiti and weeds and rusting bridges, coming back to help amigo move in some boxes upstairs, before one of the girls calls and wants some girl-time to ponder breakups, bogus feminism, and other matters of the heart.

That the kind of men who call themselves feminist often use their sensitivity to take advantage of women who want to believe the best, that the other girls who talk about independence and the patriarchal suckitude will still defend the indefensible behavior of their male friends because it's still "our fault," and why couldn't we save them from themselves and save ourselves too.

And Friday night I make coffee mugs, ride my bike around the west side because it's beautiful out and I'm feeling extra-invincible, and then come home to get introverted, to read books and listen to chants, drink tea, and burn incense like a damn monk-hippie.

My sister and other family members converge at my parents' house since my dad is on vacation and we talk about music, and he's bemused by my youngest sister wearing a Nirvana shirt even though she doesn't like Nirvana (I first heard "In Bloom") in the car with him, he's a fan. Why would you wear a shirt of a band you don't even like? he says, and I think of when my punk rock shirts would go missing and end up in her closet when I still lived at home.

A friend has a baby shower that I need to show up at, I'm incredibly happy for her, and even though it's a lot of estrogen in one place, these things are more fun than they used to be. My former roomie and partner in photo adventures is getting out of a wedding shower at the same time and we rejourney to our old post-industrial haunts to climb around on riverbanks and shoot photos of graffiti in ambiguous legal territory. When we get down to the tracks we realize that we're not alone, that there are two men randomly setting things on fire so we get out of there and get a meal of Salvadoran comfort food before heading home. Introversion ensues and is much-needed.

Sunday it is so beautiful outside and me and one of my neighbors drive out to "goth it up" at the cemetery, where we wander around through the Garfield monument through the graveyard, laughing about the toenails of the weeping angel being painted and gleeful at the gang of kids on dirtbikes and ATVs roaring through the Cultural Gardens and getting absurd over hot apple cider at the coffeeshop below his apartment. Homie calls me and offers dinner, and we play a little bit but we're both tired so we're spaced out on the couch talking about everything else.

the next night we end up watching some guys play Neil Young covers at a corner bar and they're quite good, I'm a sucker for Neil Young, it's hard to do it badly. We decide to go on a night hike, darkthroning that I could never do by myself but having a partner along is wonderful. I haven't done this in years, and we're listening to the owls hoot and the howls of dogs as we push our way through the dark pine forests to a gorgeous cliff overlooking the river valley. On the way down, we get lost but it's beautiful out so we're not too worried and then we end up down the hill at an intersection that we know but we're so disoriented and turned around that we start wandering one way and then the next trying to figure out how to get back to my car.

 By this time my feet are soaking and I'm debating whether or not to call anyone for directions, but he ended up thumbing us a ride, and some guy with a baby seat in his minivan and a bunch of bread in the front seat takes pity on us and gives us a ride back to the car, going into Dad-Mode about being careful about getting lost in the woods and we're so relieved to be back safe and I guess this is my first time hitchhiking,  and we're laughing over late night dinner and old country music and punk rock, pondering the wonder of occasionally compassionate human beings and the strange ways in which this world happens. I feared that adulthood would equal boredom, and it's been anything but.

1 comment:

  1. Motown, arsenal of democracy

    Fog used to bloom off the distant river
    turning our streets strange, elongating
    sounds and muffling others. The crack
    of a gunshot softened.

    The sky at night was a dull red:
    a bonfire built of old creosote soaked
    logs by the railroad tracks. A red
    almost pink painted by factories—

    that never stopped their roar
    like traffic in canyons of New York.
    But stop they did and fell down
    ending dangerous jobs that paid.

    We believed in our unions like some
    trust in their priests. We believed
    in Friday paychecks sure as
    winter's ice curb-to-curb

    where older boys could play
    hockey dodging—wooden
    pucks, sticks cracking wood
    on wood. A man came home

    with a new car and other men
    would collect around it like ants
    in sugar. Women clumped for showers—
    wedding and baby—wakes, funerals

    care for the man brought home
    with a hole ripped in him, children
    coughing. We all coughed in Detroit.
    We woke at dawn to my father's hack.

    That world is gone as a tableau
    of wagon trains. Expressways carved
    neighborhoods to shreds. Rich men
    moved jobs south, then overseas.

    Only the old anger lives there
    bubbling up like chemicals dumped
    seething now into the water
    building now into the bones.