Living Dangerously in Detroit
brother jay and i headed out to detroit (the big 313) for the fourth of july. my adventures in the wild and woolly (mid)west began on a thursday morning flight... full of nuns; dozens of them. and i was almost waiting for them to breakout
into a round of hallelujah. apparently the flight just wasn't long enough to get them going.
in any case, james and i met up in the airport - our flights were a few gates away from each other. from there we went to the curb side check in where diana in picked us up in their car, affectionately dubbed "the beast". it's a late eighties, brown on brown volvo station wagon. james rode shot gun, and i tried to find some room in the back next to the baby seat. although it was empty, little holden had left all sorts of little treats - some friendly looking, some half eaten. we worked our way past eight mile road to the outer areas of the 313 area code. the sun was shining and i was happy to be free. i was going to spend the fourth of july weekend in middle america (how's that for being patriotic?)
8 Mile Road
my happiness and freedom were threatened later on -even though scott is one of the up and coming defense attorney's in detroit (it never helps when your defense attorney is also involved in a crime). after going to tastefest - a music food and beer festival held in downtown detroit - we spent some time in scott and diana's downtown apartment. you could call it a mini party; music blaring, chicken bones being thrown off the balcony, people drinking kettle one and juice -malt liquor too. and perhaps a few participated in a very patriotic round of the native american peace pipe. the fourth of july is all about tradition. i watched and giggled, trying to get free air, clutching my cup to insure that the contents remained water. as the party fizzled out, diana's brother steve invited us out to his house to go swimming. james and i had packed swimming trunks as we were looking forward to some splashing around. the problem was our swimming trunks were at scott and diana's other house. we told steve about our dilemma. scott warned us, "steve's going to go into this thing about chlorine..." but it was too late, steve's hard sell had already started. "we have extra suits at my house," he started. we all looked at him and each other incredulously. the thought of wearing someone else's bathing suit didn't exactly sit well with us. reading our disgusted faces, steve continued, "there's chlorine in the pool you know... so don't worry about the bathing suits; they are clean. it's all about the chlorine, you know... and scuba divers... they take the snorkel, and that's clean..." he continued desperately but made little headway as we were all not planning on wearing another man's swim trunks. "do you all own a pool?!??!" steve continued, clearly frustrated, "no? no? well, you wouldn't understand!!!"
he was right about the chlorine. he was right about none of us having a pool. he was even right about the scuba divers and snorkels, although i have to admit i had a bit of trouble understanding that logic. i suggested that we return to scott and diana's and pick up our bathing suits. that seemed to appease everyone, and with that we were off again.
family commotion of some form or fashion prevented us from making the trip to diana's parent's place, but had the idea to go swimming firmly placed in our minds. we changed into our swim trunks and headed out to the local pool. naturally it was dark, guarded by a fence, and we would be required to sneak in - looking out for rent-a-cops, we each hopped the fence and went swimming. the water was freezing, and we really couldn't see anything besides the stars above and the distant laterns in the parking lots with their hazy orange glow. i did the back stroke, star gazing; vacationing.
the balance of our trip consisted of more crimes and misdemeanors. i can't really go into detail, but i will tell you that the list of offenses included everything from endangering the life of a minor to creating pyrotechnical disasters. it was fabulous! to top it off, on saturday night, the beast, formerly known as a volvo station wagon, literally turned into a fire breathing dragon - smoking everywhere from the hood to the tailpipe just miles from eight mile road. being stranded in detroit at night is not the way to go if you wish to lead a long healthy life. we managed to escape without injury or incident, and still made it in to downtown detroit to party like rock stars. after two red bulls, and a few moments of grooving on the dance floor, the club closed. we went to a diner, although in detroit they call them coney's after coney island. two in the morning serving chili dogs and fries, and i was hungry. our adventures continued as we made a tour of the inner city (highly not recommended, but whatever is whatever). aside from this mysterious van that had rolled up on us -felt like a set up- we escaped alive and happy, tired from a weekend of action.
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