Friday, June 19, 2009



Ken and Beth that is. Tremendous people the both of them. It was neat to take them to my fave restaurant, Xocochimilco's and finally the Astoria bakery today. Maybe if I could take someone to the Whitney for dessert, I would have shown them what is in my head when I think of Detroit.

We split up, they went off in Ken's super cool Mustang, and I made my way over to Capitol Park to catch the bus home. They are great people and it was a fantastic experience to be with them both. Told them about my plans and how I came to them. More than likely, I will get to it in here. Going to have to be a bit patient as I get there.


That is where the buses get together for their journey out from the city center, at least many of the west side lines do. Detroit is split mainly east-west, with the southwest having its own little thing. It is strange that it wasn't until I was an adult and started being with SD that I ventured over on the east side, save for the odd excursions to a club.

It resembles what is the stereotype of a decaying city center ... guess that doesn't make it a stereotype. There is an odd cluster of shops and eateries ... a pizza place that I have never tried and some off, off, off line dollar store. Pigeons who move with impunity, unafraid of being so close to humans, who themselves look as grizzled and worn as the birds.

I sat there waiting for my bus, looking and observing the 'intention fail' in their eyes. And though there was some foggy eyes, from what ailed them physically, or from their use of various controlled substances, there was something more around them. There was a lack of spirit, as if they were only going thru the motions, without direction.


I wonder when did they let go of their hope for better, when did they finally resign themselves to having lost their way. What made them drag themselves up, shuffle their hands in a pile of clothes strewn about in a drawer, no effort made to fold them, and come out into the day? "This", I thought, "is the 'quiet desperation' of which is spoke of in verse.

Though I was where I was at, physically, I had just came from somewhere else, physically and mentally as well. Being able to share what I did with two great friends that I have made out here, reinforced a lot of things I felt not only about them, but myself as well.

I will say when apropos, "should have done better in high school", because I do think that if you look at the folks you ran with then, by what they become you can find your own level to measure yourself by. A small sample, that I find pretty accurate of what people go on to become as adults.

When I think of where I went to school ... and then the people that I called friends, of what they went on to do with their lives, I know that something else is in store for me, beyond the people here with me at Capitol Park, seated amid the refuse and clutter. Their eyes gauzy from the wear of life, showing in their skin and their poorly matched clothes, that the prolly picked up from where they lay. No thought to whether or not they were even clean.

And should the fashion fail that is their attire managed to be clean, are they themselves? If Toucan Sam followed his nose aboard the #27 to the Redford Plaza, he'd gag from the odor of musty humans in badly made clothes. I sit wondering where did they think they would go when they woke up, much less when they graduated high school ...

... and that is where we come to the fork in the road that we are sharing.

"Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude", said Fredrick Douglas. What that freedom is for the individual now is much different than what it was then, but the impact of the words are no less important. What is it that a person wants to be free from?

I sense a weight on some, the weight of an unfilled hope, unfilled desire, of an unfilled LIFE. Though I say, and I hope to get across, in a self-effacing manner that I have a 'crap life', I DO NOT say or mean it that way when I say 'I will take what I got'. Because I like my life, really and truly. Wins as well as losses, the good as well as the 'less than good'.

The stuff I left high school with, I took with me and the mind to do them. That I ended up 'just a little outside' of my mark, has kept my clothes clean, my skin fresh, and my body smelling like it looks. And honey pie, I look good.

So I am riding the bus ... wasn't always so, and I am a little shy on some cash. Wasn't always like that either. And it WON'T always be like that, either.

Like many things that 'I know' but don't know why I know them, something that I want is meant for me. Period. Like the artillery, I am 'walking in rounds' to my target, and getting closer and closer. As long as I got ammunition, I am going to keep on firing ...

I hope you don't mind me refreshing what I guess you could say is the mission statement of the entire Nebraska Concept. Which is to find my happiness. I set my course, and struggled gladly thru what I have had to in getting here. And we all know that the struggle is what makes the achievement worthwhile.

If there is one thing that I would say that is in common with my friends, is that they have achieved what they have, overcoming what they had to in order to reach their objective. Simple formula, when you get down to it. And while we each have our own measure of what we call happiness and what amounts to success, the essential formula is pretty simple.

And that is where the difficulty lies.

I have never lost heart, nor given up on myself. I have somehow found a way to cope with being something I didn't want to be and kept on the struggle trying to be what it is that I want. There would be times where I would tell myself, "If I ever became successful, then everything I would know", the thinking being that I had enough hard times, so there had to be a bunch of good times that lay ahead for me.

And I really think that is true. For me. See, despite the crap about ME, I am in very good company. You could say that I am their lightning rod for bad judgement and poor decision making, so that they can go on to have the life that they are having. If so, cool beans! That means I DO know I am, Pee Wee!

Still, I think I am so much more than just a 'catcher' of fate. So much more, and it is more than just 'a notion'. I have always accepted it as a FACT.


To be happy.

That is what the 'Nebraska Concept' is about. For me to do fulfill my obligation to find my destiny, around which my happiness is enclosed. And in deciding to do an 'ex List', I was sure that I would find mine. As sure as Monday follows Sunday.

When I go to Virginia, it will be to begin another chapter in my life, one spent with someone of whom it can really be said is my best friend and love of my life. The details will work themselves out, as long as we are determined in the goal we have set before us.

I am never surprised at how doubt and the unknown falls away from the determination of the mind. Move mountains, that is what it does. So why can't it take a cat from Detroit to Virginia?

'Six days and a wake up' until we see each other again. Can't classify nerves ... because I anticipate better than frighten. We got along day one while we served, me and the SFC ... and since that is where we left it, then we should pick it up from right there, only difference being ...

... that we are in love with one another.


Beth said...

Mark, honey, you are a peach. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with you. I look forward to hearing more about things as the time approaches and beyond. Much love, Beth

Beth said...

P.S. When we get back, I'll send you our home phone number, and you and Ken can discuss the finance thing.

Heather said...

*hugs* I'm so glad you got to meet up with Beth and Ken!

a corgi said...

so glad you/Beth/Ken hit it off so good! sounds like you had a wonderful time

okay, I missed something; you're going to Virginia to be with your best friend and love of your life; I missed this whole thing (sorry). I'm excited for you. I liked how you described the time until you go; that's how my sister-in-law and her best friend describe their time counting down to trips they take together as couples

I'm not sure why some people give up hope; I think life just wears them down and they have no faith in anything but this life and therefore no hope.....


Joann said...

Sounds like a fun meeting!! So glad you all got to spend time together!

Myra said...

Virginia?? What did I miss? This post was so heartfelt...I could totally feel you. Good luck wherever you end up as long as you are happy!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Mark, what can I say? I only know that we will be friends for life. We had a great time with you, and hearing about SFC. We look forward to hearing back from you after the 4th holiday :o) Love you man!

miss alaineus said...

when one door shuts, another has to open....

the part about the bus station is fantastic and should be published.

virginia????? whooooooo hoooooo!

i had a feeling it was a really good thing you were sitting on your hands about.

may the 6 days and a wake up go quickly for you both.