BEING FOR REAL
Ran a couple of errands. Had to ride up to G & R bike shop to get a tool to break my bike down. UPS will be here Wednesday to grab it. That was the main mission, secondary mission was to head up to the Seven-Grand (that is what it will always be for me) Shopping plaza to do some banking.
Now I would feel the first of several emotional tugs on my heart as it hit me that I am finally riding these streets for the last time in my life. Said good bye to the shop owner, as he had did me solid while I have been here. Got on my bike and pressed west by northwest to the shopping center. Decided to go due east on 7 mile road, which would mean ...
With big ol' Telegraph Road on the west and a big empty field, a creek and old Edgewater Park (now a big, fancy collection plate), I always felt that constituted the northwest corner of Detroit. The south side of 7 mile was always the chippier looking side of the street, for no apparent reason. The business would change and whatever. The shopping center on the north side at the corner of Telegraph Road had undergone changes of its own.
But a couple of blocks down, stood some neat little apartments and the 7-Tel Party store. As a kid, I would work there in the evenings after I threw papers. Stocking shelves, sorting empties and various 'hustle man, hustle' duties. It was all good.
Jet King Chinese Take Out was still there ... and there was a flash to go in and see if any of the old timers were still in their business. But I went on and crossed Appleton Street.
THAT was the street that I lived on. There were people who I know are still down there, people I could have said good bye to. Then reality hit. I hadn't said 'hello' since I was in town. Why would I say 'good bye' now?
Confused for a moment, because I do want to make one last run to Astoria, but which one and which way should I go? Had I turned north at Lasher, I would have tracked to the bakery in Royal Oak. And that would have meant a 'pull' may have drew me to Tee Jay's house had I went east on 8 Mile towards Woodward. She lives by the old WDRQ, and though I lived on that exact block that the radio station was located on, what would have been there for me to gain? I know what I would have lost, so I went south on Lasher and came back to my Dad's house, saving Astoria for later this evening. I will ride to the one downtown.
As I headed back to my Dad's house, I thought about what would I make of this experience. Because really, I could NOT go to the bakery and be just as fine. Trying to get a haircut will be a bigger thing! The only person that I do wish I could see, is my daughter. She still hasn't called, returned mail or email. That is something that bothers me more than anything.
I guess I am sharing this, because I have heard and read about how people feel their attachments to people and places, especially when they are bad for them. That is prolly the only reason I left Carolina for Detroit ... I didn't want to believe what I already knew about me and my hometown ... my FAMILY. I felt I may have made myself think that there was negative energy with this place and that my family and I had a misunderstanding that was mainly my fault.
After our Mother passed, the truth stood exposed for all of us to see. The twins talk and are living their lives. Good for them! Jan, who is doing her 'Sleep With Anger' thing wherever she is doing it, I will guess is fine.
Honestly, I don't care about what becomes of any of them anymore. I gave at the office, and that is that with that.
HOW ARE THINGS ON THE WEST COAST?
In the spring of '07, I began to see the fraying of my relationship with Mookie. Once I noticed it, I didn't bother trying to trace it back to it's beginnings. I took action. I had wanted to find out about myself and if I could summon the character necessary to hang in there with her.
That summer was not as cool as I would have liked it to have been. KT did not enjoy herself ... my darling Brother (who IS the only family member who I really got along with) passed and Mookie was whatever Mookie was. That is when I decided to let my experience work for me. I knew what was happening and the signs were clear.
I would pop back out for chats ... the only reason I ever appear 'visible' online has been due to some quirkiness with the AOL. Otherwise, I prefer to surf in my solitude, and there were only a few online names that I would talk with.
Nebraska is one of ... no, she is the ONLY person with whom I'd ever log on and chat with. On various occasions I had popped out to see if she still had AOL during that summer...
Do I feel any pangs of guilt or anything for deciding to 'get set for next year' in the middle of '07? 'Experience, experience. Whatever I could have changed regarding the direction of our relationship, I did. I was a better partner, or as good as a partner as Mookie would let me be. Still did the parenting thing with lil' Mook and got great results. So no, I don't feel like I compromised anything with the actions I took.
One of which was chatting up Nebraska.
When we first chatted up one another back in either '02 or '03, I was actually ready to head out there THEN. Nebraska, Arizona, Nevada, 'back home' to Carolina, seemed to be possible destinations. I had already had intel on where I would have ended up going, and really liked my prospects. Not to mention the 'theme song' I had for this prospective next leg on my journey.
I didn't forget that our initial on line exchanges were pretty much one way traffic. But that has been how most of my relationships have tacked. And that is why when I heard the song 'The Heinrich Maneuver' by Interpol, I thought that would be what would be the 'single' for this particular soundtrack. What someone else hears when they listen to the song, is what they hear. My interpretation was one where despite being willing to 'move heaven behind those eyes', I wasn't ever going to be more than a friend to her. And I wasn't going to press her. Being alone would have been very cool. I could have put more into the things that mattered to me ... finally.
First, my injury isn't a sentence. I think enough of myself to still have expectations that I am going to do two things: 1) Become a teacher and 2) Write a book. Being alone, I could be assured that all available resources and energies would go into making those thing happen.
Second, the place where I was heading to WASN'T like where I'd be coming from. Again, leaving an urban area like Detroit, how rough can anywhere else be? I would have found my comfort level quickly. All I would have hoped for was that Nebraska would point me where I needed to go.
Third, how much have I missed my own space. Boys and girls, you can't imagine ... like many adults who have been out of a relationship for a long time, I like being left to my own devices. Being able to set my own 'rules' and set my own home up was another thing that I couldn't wait to do ... picking up nick knacks at resale shops and going to flea markets ... I would have loved to be free to ride my bike around and find myself at a garage sale looking thru things and taking them home.
Finally, my girls would be sure to have a place to stay. Even if all I got were the summers and the occasional spring break until they were college age and living for themselves, it would have been my ESPN Sportscenter Highlight to have them visit me in the cornfields. Man, you don't know how cool that would have been. But you will soon find out, that it can still happen.
When I made the choice to go to the provincial town to jog 'round, these are similar to the kinds of thoughts that I was having. So I feel that they are part of the 'uncertainties' that challenge a person when making this kind of decision. Had I had this kind of dialogue when I was dating my ex wife ...
Going west ... I have decided to 'keep for another day, yet knowing how way leads on to way ...' None of what I am writing is to say that I am not going to be 'all in' with my lady. On the contrary. By getting this out of me, I will have that extra room to put more of what is yet to come in me.
NEXT: THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF THE DAY