Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If This Town Is Just An Apple

A couple hours after dropping Greg off at the Detroit airport my friend Eliza from UMass called to ask if I wanted to sleep at her place. She’d just bought a new house and had plenty of extra room. Up until that point I had no idea where I was going to be sleeping, so I drove to her house in a suburb just outside of Detroit.

I pulled into her driveway and her dog Manson ran out to greet me. Eliza was busy hauling bags of stuff out of the back of her pickup truck.

After emptying the back of her truck we drove into town with Manson running around the flatbed to watch a movie projected onto an inflatable screen in the park. We drank Pabst while watching Enchanted with the locals. It was a pretty good movie to watch in a park, but Manson was very irritable. He’s not fixed and there were a number of female dogs strutting their stuff around the park. He made whining sounds throughout the second half of the movie and wasn’t even interested in the gummy worms we tried to quiet him with.

The next day Eliza made French toast (because she’d had a dream about it) and we took a walk with Manson through the woods behind her house. Eliza never leashes him.

We said goodbye and wished each other nice lives because we probably won’t ever see each other again (this has been true with lots of the friends I’ve visited).

I drove east for a few hours. At some point, I realized it might be possible for me to make it to New Haven for my mother’s cousin’s funeral which was scheduled for the next morning at 11.

700 miles later, at 3 in the morning, I arrived in New Haven and got a room. It was the first familiar location I’d seen in over three months.

The next day I made it to the funeral on time and was very glad I went. I got to hear my dad read a poem he’d written for the occasion, a poem the rest of my family heard him read to Paul two days before he died.

After the funeral I drove to New York City to meet my Western MA friends Otie, Trevor, and Meg for dinner. We went to a Mexican place near Williamsburg, wandered around Brooklyn a bit, and then went home to sit on the roof of Meg’s apartment building. Later on we met a few people at a bar near Meg’s house. We left after some girl accused me of intentionally annoying people I know I’m never going to meet again (I think she was kidding), and ended up going to bed relatively early. I love New York and staying up absurdly late when I’m there, but I was still very worn out from all the driving the day before.

The next morning I drove to Hudson, NY to meet up with my friend Sarah. She took me out to lunch, then to her hometown of Kinderhook, NY where I met her parents, dog, and birds.

She also introduced me to the owner of a junk shop and a very old man who sold things out of his SUV on the side of the road. The only thing he said both times we walked by was, “Everything’s cheap.”

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