Tuesday, January 16, 2007
It's Been Quite A Year
One of my early Detroit memories was of writing Christmas messages in cards while drinking Kool-Aid spiked with vodka and watching the blue of other people's televisions from my second-story flat. My then-boyfriend had gone to bed early, and the city was totally quiet, a hushed snow coming down. It was my first year in Detroit -- I'd been here about three months and struggled to think of something to write about my experience. I'd been alone more in those three months than I had in the last ten years, long hours spent writing and reading, thinking about things. It wasn't the kind of experience that lent itself to the Christmas newsletter form -- Hello Everyone -- It's been quite a year! I moved to Detroit and . . . And what? I'd just gotten a job scheduled to start at the beginning of the year at a social work center, so far out of my chosen field of work it would make people go, huh? The pay was just enough to keep my car from getting repossessed. That wouldn't work as news either. After finishing up the tumbler of my drink, I settled on "Happy Holidays, love, Michelle." Brilliant stuff from a writer, huh?
When I came to Detroit, it was raining, a slow kind of drizzle that fell from the sky in smoggish rainbow colors. I loved the color and fell in love with the city because of it. At first, everything was difficult -- getting around, finding things. The post office had bullet-proof glass, making it hard to mail anything bigger than an envelope. Even the Kentucky Fried Chicken had bullet-proof glass that kept me from getting my favorite food with ease! I had to wait for the box to glide around and pull it out of its protected space. Where would I write these things? Or as Chekhov might say, To whom shall I tell my grief? But it wasn't grief, it was love. Of course, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I wasn't the prettiest or the most special. I just wanted it the most." Marilyn Monroe, on success
Drinking reading suggestion: The Root Worker Rainelle Burton -- this great novel is set in 1960s Detroit and all about hoodoo and incest -- scary as hell and the kind of book you won't be able to put down!
Benedictions and Maledictions
Congratulations to Forrest Whitaker on his Golden Globe for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. If you haven't seen this movie, go see it! Do not, however, take a date!