I had to run a quick errand in the Heights this morning – I may have moved from the neighborhood, but I still go back to drink coffee, buy beads and see friends – and odd memories came to me as I drove past places I’ve driven past literally hundreds (probably thousands) of times. I was looking at the mushroom sculptures outside the art gallery on Studewood and remembered when the building was a quickie mart and the owner was murdered one night as he worked. I wondered if the new owners of the building did some sort of spiritual cleansing of the place when they moved in. I further wondered if they even knew about the murder. I doubt that information was included in the real estate listing, and I’d guess it happened in the early ’90s.
Then I continued up Studewood toward 20th, as much to avoid the ridiculous construction all over the Heights as to do a drive-by of our old house. I turned on a side street to cut over to Yale, and as I passed the elementary school, I remembered that a child molester lived in one of those little white cottages across the street. I couldn’t remember if he was a known pedophile who wasn’t supposed to be living that close to a school or if he was a pedophile who was caught and it ended up that he lived across the street from the school. Bad news either way.
I’m not in a particularly dark mood today, so I’m not sure why these dark things were on my mind. Maybe I’ve been listening to/reading too much Bukowski lately. I get on kicks with writers, diving deep and hanging out in the worlds they’ve created for a period of time. Then I come back up for air and move on to the next writer. Maybe the next chunk of reading will be full of rainbows. But I doubt it. I’m going to George Saunders next – already packed the one book of his I haven’t read yet for my trip next month and will then reread the rest of his books – and he isn’t exactly puppy kisses. But he’s not total darkness either. More like partly cloudy with the occasional burst of thunder/lightning or peek of sunshine.
There have been a few headlines this week about people camping out at stores – NOW – in order to be first inside on “black Friday.” I sort of want to drive to wherever these people are so I can put a gentle hand on each shoulder and then shake the living shit out of them while yelling, “You need to reexamine your priorities! You need to reexamine your priorities!”
Or maybe I just need to reexamine my priorities.
In case I don’t have time to write tomorrow: HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Take time to remember the things you’re grateful for. Tell the people you love that you love them. I’m grateful that you take time out of your day to read this blog. It means a lot.
See you on the other side of the turkey coma. Good lord willing and the creek don’t rise.