Half seven on a Mitten Thursday and accidentally whiskey tickled. Not what I expected from the day. But days are seldom what I expect anymore. So no point in demanding something different.
I have always been more of a
homewrecker word rocker. Because it is more fun. And that leaves the metaphorical boats under the direction of more capable captains, ones not afraid of navigating deeper waters.
So I got caught chasing white lines with the White Stripes down West Saginaw. Because things belong with similar things. Otherwise it all breaks down, this illusion of civility. And I needed a spark to trigger me out of a lingering post-pandemic hangover.
Because suddenly, we were all going to die. Touching groceries was a gamble. Wash everything; don’t touch your face. Empty shelves everywhere. Masks by the millions. Fear broadcasting from every channel, screaming a twenty-four hour cycle of insanity. Feeding off the bloated, inverted corpses we didn’t yet understand. Claustrophobic self-starting sourdough bites of sound with barely a breath between.
It was an exhausting experience at a time that was already weird. So what was the addition of a global pandemic?
From a universal screenwriting perspective, it almost seemed a reasonable possible ending to our hubris. At the very least, a unique twisting of the plot to keep the herded audiences invested. Docile. Or ravenously obnoxious.
There was no middle ground in middle America. Just snarky division based solely off of bumper stickers and whether or not there was a mask covering your face. Or by the size and type of flag displayed, the ones that somehow arrived despite a weakened chain of supply.
Sometimes, I wonder if that experience was really real. And that uncertainty makes me want to drink about it at the weirdest times. Usually in those brief pauses life sometimes shoves down your throat, making you gag on the inconvenience of it all. Like when you’re punching west hard on Saginaw, the sun winking low in the sky, jostling through the traffic that all had to turn right in order to turn left, because apparently that’s a Michigan thing. Just one of many I have yet to fully wrap my brain around.
A year ago at this time there was only a boy who loved a girl, two tea mugs, a couple of beanbag poofs, and a kettle which I found particularly annoying given the shrillness of its whistle. How could it be so piercingly loud, but yet still be incapable of camouflaging the squeak of my morning farts? The ones that made her giggle at the sound of my morning emissions echoing through the empty house?
We didn’t have much then. But we fucking made it work for us somehow. Work in a way that has been weird. And lovingly ridiculous. All in a gentle, creative way.
The kids and their joyful chaos–and their endless crumbs–are all there now. A couple of cats have joined the beautiful beldam. As have more typewriters than would probably be considered reasonable. But that sometimes happens when you work to build a business based on an antiquity that first brought us together.
Turkey, deer, and foxes wander the meadow out back. And I like seeing them on days when I’m not forced by legalities to be a dirty Boulevard castaway. Their presence centers me in a way I have longed to find my entire life.
Things are still weird. And I hope that they get weirder still. Because I’m nowhere near done loving her. Or them. In fact, I’m just at the beginning. The starting line of life’s best adventure.
I miss them so much that even hearing them in my head as I write them makes the words sound unspeakably lame, missing the mark of the enormous emptiness I feel in the absence of their presence.
And that’s a far better place to be than running feral alone, west on Saginaw, chasing after the sun instead of my tail, helplessly hoping that the time passes quickly until I’m allowed to go back home.