Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Diary: September 2003.



This was a very quiet month.

It was the last month at my lease at an address on the Eastside of Flint: Maryland Ave between Minnesota and Iowa. I'd been working at Angelo's all summer, hadn't really made any money, hadn't really lost any either, and I decided to take a break. I didn't have any major trips or plans, so this month was filled with exploring and writing.

First, I decided to explore Flint's legacy more closely than I ever had before. I did this a lot through the Motor Cities National Heritage Site, which is great because it marks off sites by significance and relevance without regard for how convenient or developed they are. I spent a lot of time tracking along the factories on the northern branch of the Flint River, along Hamilton Avenue, in Civic Park and Bassett Park, Chevy in the Hole and the Fisher Body plants. I took about two dozen rolls of film, which I still have lying around somewhere, waiting to be developed.

Second, I wrote and read. I was working on Rose for Urbantasm, and I made it almost to the halfway point of that section using a consistant fractal deployment, more elegant than any other I'd attempted to date. My computer wasn't working, but my mom let me work at the computer stations at the library where she worked. Sometimes she picked me up, and sometimes I took the bus, but most often I enjoyed the long walk: south on Franklin to Second Street, west through downtown and south to 12th, and then some route south on Fenton to Bristol. It took about an hour-and-a-half. On September 11th, I read at the Good Beans cafe, and several people from the UU church came out to hear me (no Catholic did, however). It was a start.

Third, I got ready to leave. My girlfriend left for Chicago toward the end of the month. I had locked down steady (if not good) employment with my temp agency back in Chicago... I had determined that I would only consider the Far North Side (Edgewater, Rogers Park, Uptown) or a Stockyards district (Bridgeport, McKinley Park, Canaryville). I would end up settling in McKinley Park, because it was the cheapest option, and I could save up money because I planned to propose to my girlfriend. On my last weekend in Flint I drove my parents car, listened to the Doors, got my license renewed, vacuumed and cleaned the house. My landlord told me he was sad to see me go. As I was leaving the city that night, I thought of a story, based in Flint, where a consciousness of the ghosts of past crimes would compell a character toward terrible and present crimes. This eventually became Hungry Rats.

Where were you in September 2003?

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