Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Car is King

First of all, today, cause it is today already, is my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad, I love you very much and I'm extremely grateful you of all people are my father, and I'm sorry that your daughter is so weird. Also thanks for the eyes. I like those very much.

And this will always be the song that makes me happy because of you.

Do you know what this morning means? It means it's finally here, Spring and all subsequent consequences of the same. It means we no longer have to get up Monday mornings and ponder the weather, trying to figure out if we can go exploring. Like, sure it was gray and rainy and got pretty chilly in the end, but I still walked around all day in just a t-shirt splattered occasionally with sweat and raindrops. And got to drive with the windows open and the radio on. My hair got all fucked up from the wind. Inside me is this constant quiet ringing of joy.

We were going to hit up a building, but by the time I got to his house, and we had a minute or two to catch up, it was decided the thing to do really was to drive all the way down the Valley, to Kent maybe or to Akron, or Helltown. We drove for a long time. Hours going around curves and hills and highways. There were remnants of mud tainted snow melting on the ski slopes, and the moss was shining bright green along the road.

I appreciate people who you don't run out of conversation with, maybe most of all. And people who know how to just get in the car and drive for a while. We drove through all the places Peter used to drive me to in the dark, where he used to have me shine the spotlight out the window into the black woods to spot deer because I had never seen one in the wild before, and I thought about the long line of boys who have driven me places. Peter was the first and therefore the standard. It's his fault I do this. But all the others, they've just reinforced this addiction, oh some of us we had the best drives. It's the way to my heart, Ohio. Now I'm the one who does the driving, and that took a minute to get used to, but in the end it turned out to be the thing I was meant to be doing too.

We stopped off places and walked around. Locks and woods and parks. Train tracks. I was reminded how much I want to go back to Hope Furnace, that place down South where we went camping, and at the base of the huge stone fireplace we would collect those shiny black glass pieces of slag. When I was little, I loved those black shinies, and they lived with the fake gold, quartz, and tiger eyes I got from the Natural History museum gift shop, and the geode we found when the neighbors were digging up their yard.

In this tunnel, we found this guy, waiting out the rain with his hiking gear. He had been walking the Buckeye Trail for a month. He has a blog about it. There's a thing to do at some point in your life, huh? Jere told me a story about the old times in the Flats, when there used to be street brawls there every Friday and Saturday night, over stupid things like cars, and a girl he met once who said she came down every weekend just to photograph the fights. That girl and this guy are cut of the same cloth. A specific sort of genius.

The canals are a strange thing. 300 miles stretch of barges, supplies, people, mules. Now sitting all weeded and choked up, more like a statewide garden fixture, a landscaping project overgrown. Someday you know, people will dig them up and look at them like pyramids. Here is the best quote from the wiki article on the Ohio and Erie canals:

"As a teenager in 1847, James Garfield worked as a Hoggee, driving mules to pull barges along the canal.[12] After repeatedly falling into the canal on the job, Garfield became ill, and decided to go to college instead"

I don't know if that's true, but it is just like that ITT Tech commercial. "And I thought, I'd better get in school."

We went to a place in Akron for lunch, and on the back of the bathroom stalls they had pages from today's Wall Street Journal hung. I had to steal the one in my stall, fold it up as discreet as I could in my pocket, because it had this headline: Kremlin Connection Fails To Save BP From Oligarchs. Which is pretty much the best sentence of the day.

On our way to Akron, we passed this scene, which is either an art project, or an upcoming sacrifice to a gray unknown farm god. Maybe horses are really scared of themselves, and these are like horsie scarecrows? I mean, I'd stay out of any field with straw effigies of myself too. I assume the Daddy horse is the tall one, and the Mommy horse is the shorter one, and that raises my hackles a little, which should tell you I'm definitely in the mood for hackles, cause that's pretty dumb, that's just me being contrary. It's all the excitement.

We ended the night at Annabell's, meeting up with his Akron boys and drinking our hackles up. The bouncer there had the exact same tone of voice as Boots, the same bloody Irishness, and did impressions of Ronald Regan and Rocky. There was a mark on his arm that looked very much like a large bite mark, from an extremely large mouth, like maybe a prehistoric fish. I was sent to the jukebox to put on some Wilson Pickett, and he stopped me to remark on it, to point out he had put similar music on just before. Okay. His dog was awesome.


  1. Fights in the Flats! Boy that takes me back.

  2. The maw on that dog resembles that of a prehistoric fish. Just saying...

  3. Carrie's not that weird. I actually like her a lot.

  4. Straw effigies indeed. That is right out of straw man. You know that the townies put outsiders in those things and burn them to placate their pagan Gods, right?

  5. Maybe he got bit by the dog? That dog was too sweet though. He was definitely the star of the bar.

    And Carrie is weird too. So I guess, dad, I'm sorry you have two weird daughters. And a weird son.

    Another headline from that page? "It's Not the Economy, Stupid, It's the Free Blenders and Sheep."

  6. conversations that can morph and change and just never end are the best.

    also I think I may have just wrote a poem using/inspired by the 5th picture. Perhaps it needs to sit for a bit and then revisited.

    Been very eager to pair my poetry and people's photos recently.

  7. This entry looked and sounded like the notes to a Modest Mouse song...

  8. I like that you were up all late after being tired and I came out of my drunkeness and startled awake to catch you straight up scooping me! This is the problem of hanging out with people who do the same thing - it's a straight up death race to see who will post the photos first and have the commentary out fastest.

    Nice work by the way, but you knew that.

  9. I never sleep anymore, and I have zero responsibilities, so therefore I will probably always win.


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