Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Our holidays.


From my Journal:

Noctus 7, 29.
2:12 PM.

At the Cool Beans cafè in Cambridge, OH. I can't make heads or tails of... grimy in a cold different the NYC way. More Flint than Chi. The bathroom is as gross as a gas station. At least this town has a coffee shop. One corner of a converted Dept. Store I think. High ceilings (so cold inside). Beautiful facades in Cambridge. A bit surprised. Jess isn't here yet., dropped me off @ noon before going to Jill's bridesmaids' party. Been reading Sacred Ginmill then writing here.

So far - break - pretty good and a little strange . #1 has a nasty cold since T, Nec 26. 27 - flew out to OH and our luggage lost. 28 we went to see Nativity w. dad J @ Col.2 mall - drove to MI getting in after 5. Visited w. mom, dad until late. Saw Prairie Home Companion. Slept on the air mattress in Cody's room for 14 hours. Next day (2 ish) drove to Genesee Valey (w. new bookstore, now carpeted like Great Lakes crossing) to use Macy's, Marshall Field's gift card on replacement clothes for Jess. Then, Fenton Rd. to Dave's party. We stayed until 9:30 - the party was over at 7. 1 - shopping for last minute X-mas gifts @ Meijers. I got a nice shirt. Coney lunch @ A&W @ Meijers, then nice drive home via Jennings Clio Vienna McKinley. Eve dinner by Aunt Georgia @ grandma Coyne's, midnight mass. @ St. John Vianny. Got lost in Flushing looking at lights (Springview), wrapping presents, sleepsleep by 2 AM. Christmas - coffee and coffee cakes and champaigne and pomegranite juice. Certain rejuvenation in gifts: Artaud and Andy Kaufman and PotC. Grandma and Aunt Georgia came over for delicious lunch. We watched Dead Man's Chest and Cailin, Jess, and I drove to Sam's to hang out. We left around 2 AM. 4-depressing as it usually is. Caitlin left ~ noon, read, etc. Some of day parents gone. Later, grandma came over for leftover dinner, then Sam. Played pirates game, drove to Atlas, said bye, home midnightish. 5- visited grandma, said goodby, ate at Punklin's restaurant w. mom and dad (Bangkok Pepper's) - saw Charlie / Drove to Ohio. Wasn't ready to leave Michigan... usual. / Got luggage back, said "hi" to dad J, X Mas 2 at Fultons'. I got nice clothes. Finished Maltese Falcon. 7-20 to 3 and where is Jessica?

To finish that laundry-list like analysis, I went off in search of food, thereby missing Jess when she did show up to pick me up. We visited with her mom for a few more minute then drove to Zanesville. Dad J wasn't there when we arrived so we stopped out for dinner at the Olive Garden. Saturday was somewhat relaxed. I was recovering from my cold, and Jess was coming down with one of her own. July came down and joined us for Mass, and we ate at Adornetto's, went home and played Scrabble (Jess trounced us). On Sunday we visited Aunt Polly and had an adventure at the apartments, tried to meet up with Aunt Sue and John (but they weren't home) and made a stop in Cambridge to pick up some gifts we'd left behind. We swung back to Zanesville and I stopped at Nicol's and got a slaw dog. We stayed in and watched TV (including the ball drop), saw an episode of Star Trek (in which they beam down on a planet remade in the image of 1920s Chicago) and had some pork and sauerkraut and champagne and went to bed. Monday, the 1st, we spent the morning packing and flew back through the wildest turbulence I've ever felt on a plane. The onboard TV, of course, was playing Airplane.

The view out the window, however, was remarkable. Purple-black clouds above and below slashed through with a searing belt of orange sunset light, fire.

We got our luggage and took a cab home.

That's more or less it as a laundry list, but I feel like these trips change me. These twelve days are the longest we've been gone from New York since we moved here and getting back into a routine is a little weird. Part of it is restlessness: I'm feeling the approaching need to be somewhere else, and it's a bit different then the same feeling I had a year ago, when I was simply dissatisfied with this city.

On the one hand, I feel like I've finally gotten to know Zanesville well enough to cruise it without a map, and even to take some shortcuts. Which is a bit of an achievement, since it's eight miles from tip to tip, without convenient expressways, with ample hills and valleys, and only the vaguest semblance of a grid system.

On the other hand, it's always Michigan that hits me hardest. To extrapolate a bit, I've been naming the years for seventeen years now and frequently revisiting them and attempting to fix (with all limitations) what has happened and when. It has the effect of making one's own life seem more historical in a way, and to follow that analogy to its logical end, Flint sounds a bit like Mesopotamia or Jerusalem to me. But it isn't all Flint-love. My parents and family obviously being there from the beginning, I spent more time at my grandma's growing up than I did anywhere else, besides home, and some of my very earliest memories are of Dave D. and the associated fireworks and picnics. His parties (and stories and arguments) became an item by the time I was in 10th grade and discovering the love-thing and the adult-thing. Sam PH is a logical extension between those days and the present. So even if all the other visits I didn't get to through inertia and having a cold and being exhausted the week before Christmas, what remains seems almost carefully chosen. I can draw vectors of connection from here to almost any point I distinctly recall.

On the last hand, we never did make it to Chicago. With another day or two, I think we could have. But hopefully we will be moving there within the next year, in which case "visiting" will be moot. I wouldn't mind living in Edgewater again. Or Pilsen. Or Rogers Park. All of which seem to be on the map, as far as schools Jess is considering. Here is why I like Chicago more than New York: A fine tree will grow high, but it's just as important that the roots run deep.



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