Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday night in My Old Town

I'm in love with my old town tonight, after a desert-dry martini (a once-a-year treat) some decent red wine, a long night of delicious food and four naughty Marlboro Lights at my friends' Dennis and Teddy's house. The drive home in rain-slicked streets, streets I've been driving on for 25 years, past Kettering and the bridge over the Flint River and along Second Street past the bus depot. On my car radio, the BBC, an interview with Stephen Frears, a person I admire...his exceptionally Brit voice a pleasant companion for my careful journey home, my trusty Honda Accord humming along smoothly, my windshield wipers sliding back and forth rhythmically keeping my view of my hometown clear and glistening. I don't know how to explain it; I never thought I'd stay in this often-infuriating town this long, but tonight, after rack of lamb and hours of wonderful conversation and a round of port at Teddy's house, I can't imagine that I could be happier in any other city in the United States of America -- this is my place.

Walked to work and back today for the first time this year, an invigorating half-hour walk both ways. I got to see a DOT crew unloading concrete flower boxes on the Kearsley Street bridge over 475, and I stopped to chat with the workmen and women, whether they wanted to or not, about how nice it was that these boxes were installed on both side sof the street, and how nice it was to look forward to flowers blooming in them in a few months. I may be nearly an old lady and I don't see life in terms of an unlimited future any more. but it is sweet to be happy where I am, right now, in this moment, in my home town, worn out and somehow beautiful old Flint.

Moments of uncomplicated happiness are hard to come by. I celebrate this one with gratitude.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this one really kicked off the old memory banks. Thanks, Macy.

Amazed that you can appreciate it in January, though. My best Friday nights in Flint were always in the warmer months.

And in retrospect some of those best warm-month Friday nights were spent batching the magazine every second week, followed by a sojourn to Hat's Pub (sometimes afoot) with Gary and the usual suspects. Great folks -- lifesavers, in my particular case. Well, perhaps 'lifesavers' is a bit too dramatic. Let's just say they showed me how I could take back the balance of my life and encouraged me to do so. Best advice I ever followed.

Sometimes I miss those evenings although usually not in winter.

And I'm still not bitter.

Macy Swain said...

Oh, man, I miss Hat's Pub. If it was still there I probably would have stopped off for a night cap to see who was there on my way home.

I know what you mean by "lifesavers" in this context. That's what our town has to offer -- that communitarian feeling, how we hang together. Check out my new EVM column (somebody, from the new generation of deliverers, is carting it around today) -- it's about the darkness this time of year, and today's gloom is a perfect example of what I'm getting at. I propose doing the tango.

Have you heard about the "common ground" gatherings Dayne Walling just started? They're at Good Beans every Thursday from 5-7. Went to the first one -- good vibrations, as we used to say.

Thanks for replying, Not Bitter Man. I'm glad you're still out there.