The Sweetest Whiskey Sour: Part One

It was not what I had expected for the night. At least not after how the weekend started. It’s always weird finding out that someone from your childhood has passed away. It’s even more weird learning the details. The instability. The abuse. The final moment when with a pull of the trigger, right in front of her, he chose to end things. A selfish action, one which left the rest of us behind, forvever wondering what the fuck? News like that is always tinged with anger. Because I wish he would have picked up the damn phone. There are places and people trained to help. Resources are in place. Options are available. But I guess there wasn’t room for more rational considerations amongst all the pain. …

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What the duck, Chuck?

Good morning, Michigan! If you have spent any time on these pages, you’ll know it is fair to say that a significant portion of the screen real estate has been dedicated to complaining about all things Michigan. Documenting the weirdness that is this complicated Capital City. Capturing, as best I can, its imperfections. And topping those complaints, in addition to being manipulated into any number of convenient metaphors, is the observation regarding the disastrous state of the roads. Yes, construction is everywhere. And everyone knows the joke about how orange barrels are the official State tree. So it comes as no surprise that my voice has been added to the chorus of other Mitten dwellers as we are relentlessly bounced and jolted around every time tires …

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When Foxes Cry

It’s always strange to be driving during the in-between time. Those few weird weeks when winter hasn’t fully surrendered her grip on these familiar flyover fields. And spring has yet to fully pounce in to freshen the world with newness. The scraggly grass, filling median strips and clinging to shoulders, hasn’t completed its transition to a brighter lushness from the drab browns of a winter’s purge. The shadows of skeletal trees strobed across a broken highway, making the world jump and skitter at 78 miles an hour. Indiana was well behind my tires. But I was still pushing hard north. The day had been a weird melange of emotion. One which would require a great many more miles to fully process and I was doing my …

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94 East

I am not going to write about that night.   In general, I have never been a fan of secrets. They far too often transform into a malignancy that burdens the better angels of genuine intent. But, every once in a while, it is okay to squirrel moments away for just yourself.   And that Saturday night hidden away in Porter County is something just for me.   I will confess that despite the lack of an audience, I did my best to make a joyful noise. Because it has never been about the attention. Or, the accolades. It is about putting the words on the fucking page. Although admittedly, the occasional ego boner is appreciated. In fact, my four favorite words in the entirety of …

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Crying at the Fish Ladder Blues

The curves of a Michigan moon hid full behind a Thursday night sky. It was a shame they were concealed by a blanket of rain as the fog began to melt. Because I was in desperate need of something bright to help anchor the darkness of things.     It felt oddly like Autumn.    But I was thinking about Spring.   Beside me, an irregular river flowed north before bending itself sharply west to reach the eastern edge of Lake Michigan. I heard the water rolling off the dam. And I couldn’t help but to wonder if any fish were actually using the ladder to help navigate that transition.    There was no ladder provided for safety or convenience when I shifted my own latitude–a move …

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Fear and Hiraeth in Ingham County

Winter here in the land of Q.D. donut munchers is weird.  Particularly the aimless, wandering weekend nights.    They seem somehow more empty than the workweek ones filled with the noise and chaos of tin flying machines.    When it is this still, things echo and feel brittle. There is too much hollow space for the cognitive distortion to gain ground. And that too often leads to dysfunctional choices.   Because behaviors change when the sun falls behind the Mitten. Things you never imagined yourself doing suddenly start appearing in the rearview mirror of recent memory. And like the sticker always cautions, those things are much closer than they appear.   Memories of pinballing inside an apartment filled with too many typewriters. Of too many hours …

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REO (Not Speedwagon) Town

Good morning, Michigan. In the land of endless potholes, life plays tricks on you. One minute you’re cruising along, doing your thing. Thinking everything is fine. Not really cognizant of the dumpster fire simmering just underneath the surface. Because the focus is on fighting up the fish social ladder to make things just a bit better than they were the day before.   But complications hit with shocking regularity. Obstacles, that make about as much sense as having to turn right in order to go left, constantly threaten to throw you off the path.  Because things here in Lansing are a little weird; nothing makes any sense. And it’s difficult for a transplanted brain to fully comprehend the subtleties so deeply ingrained in the rhythm of Ingham …

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Twenty-four

30 SEP 2023 Little Red House Under the Stairs Sitting in front of an electric Underwood.  A 565.  It isn’t fancy. Or particularly pretty.  Functional.  Business.  Drab in its presentation. But, I can make it work. Some stickers.  A stencil here or there.  Perhaps some paint.  Or, maybe just let the kids free to have at it, with markers and paint pens.  Because why not? Colour never hurts.  Neither does another typewriter.  How many?  Who fucking knows…too many to count.  And, that’s okay.  As long as hers are hers and mine are mine.  Because we haven’t yet crossed that relationship threshold.  The one where collections are truly combined. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year. Or maybe never. And, that’s okay.  I don’t want her ever getting lost.  …

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