I woke at 4:30 to a storm and couldn’t go back to sleep. So, I got up and went to Starbucks. There’s no WIFI at my mom’s and I have been working on an article for Excursions Magazine that’s like a burr – I can’t seem to get it out… I arrived at 5:50 and the place was dark – not open till 7.
What do you do in Flint at 6 AM?
What does one do, early Sunday morning, when it’s raining in Flint, MI? In the old days, I might just be coming home. There is still a scar on the tree I hit back in college, after I fell asleep (with alcohol for blood) on the way home from Mark’s parents’ house in Lapeer. The tree is the only thing that stopped my Opel Kadett from going through the bay window of a ranch on Court Street…
If you are an inquiring me, you think, I’ll drive downtown to some of the streets in need of gentrification in my shiny new car and take pictures! Past the old Capital Theater under renovation, past the Carriage Town Ministries, heading toward Hurley Hospital and Carriage Town (the stalled restoration of historic homes), to the place where nature seems to be taking over the city – pretty, green space where derelict houses used to stand.
There is a guy, rheumy eyed and slow, walking on the same streets I am touring. Whenever I stop, I look in the rearview mirror and watch for him. I am an adventurer, but he seems to be following me… I find a garden project, rose-in-Spanish-Harlem kind of deal, on a back street. So, of course I need to get out and take a photo and I am trying to hurry because I don’t want to be rude, but the slow guy is kind of scary and I turn an ankle and face plant in the wet, Flint mud.
My phone goes flying, my groovy white J Crew jeans are black and skidded green at the knees and all I can think is, GET IN THE CAR – DRIVE AWAY! HE’S COMING!
Safe and Warm
I am fascinated with downtown Flint. My hometown with the hopeful lights of Saginaw Street; the pristine Cultural Center and Farmer’s Market; and the blighted surround. On the way back to Starbucks my mind wandered, as minds do on solo car rides in the rain.
Yesterday I bought a bottle of wine for a friend and when I stood in front of the wall of Toasted Head and Sutter Home, my stomach turned. For the first time in almost four years, the thought of drinking wine sickened me. Is that a good thing? Have I finally paradigm shifted? Or am I coming down with something?
Home. Isn’t it funny that even the mean, Sunday morning streets of Flint, my hometown, feel familiar?
And that guy. That wandering man, heading for the Ministries with a snootful, when he saw a fancy woman in a shiny car. A kindred spirit with dirty knees, looking out where he was looking in…
Today I’m not drinking because a garden grows in Flint!
How come you’re not drinking?
E2E – mind wandering to think of you too…