me I had “people,” and that was life changing. “My people” in this case are: Kelly and her husband Bob, LaTonya, and Kelly’s “cousin” Vicki. Cousin is in quotation marks there because they’re not strictly speaking cousins. Or they are and they’re having a go at me. The nature of their relationship was explained to me and what I can tell you for sure is they are not the same person and they are both lovely humans and that’s good enough for me. It that’s not good enough for you, you’re going to be disappointed because it’s all I’ve got.
LaTonya, Kelly and I met through Facebook. They both followed my page, Unconventional Wisdom, and discovered that they had more in common than adoring me; they discovered they both lived in the Detroit area. They are both Tigers fans. Kelly, I believe, takes a more realistic (more sane) view of the club. LaTonya is so rabid in her fandom that she is blind to the cheating, skullduggerous ways of Her Team. She appears to not know, for example, that many of the players on the team use Performance Enhancing Drugs even though I’ve told her many times. The fact is, as I’ve said, any player whose offensive numbers are more impressive than Kirby Puckett’s were surely is cheating. Kirby was as good as a player can be, as perfect on the field as he was flawed off of it. This is common knowledge.
I met Vicki on Facebook too, before I met her again in person at Kelly and Bob’s house. Kelly told me she had a “cousin” who was a big shot public defender of death row inmates. I didn’t pick up on the quotation marks when she told me about Vicki that time because I was-rightly- blown away by her profession. If I must live in a country so barbaric that it kills its citizens, I thank god for people like Vicki, people who go out and, you know, DO what so badly needs to be done.
Kelly’s “cousin” Vicki and I stayed at Bob and Kelly’s home. This should have been just about the most horrible experience of my life if you think about it. I mean I knew Kelly but not her husband. And I did not know her “cousin.” I was going to be staying with and near a bunch of damn strangers. That is not something I do. Yet I was never uncomfortable there. I was safe there, and I knew it.
We met up with LaTonya the next morning and set off being tourists in Detroit, with Kelly and LaTonya acting as awesome tour guides. Yes, we’re full-on in the “facts” part of the post I wrote about earlier. You’ll recall I sorta bragged about how easy it would be for me to write this part. (Listen: I wrote it and have come back to add this sentence: it really was pretty easy for me. What can I say?) Anyhoo, we started at the Motown Museum, Hitsville U.S.A. That was as cool as you’d expect. Down in the basement recording studio our whole group sang Motown songs together. Well they did. I moved my lips and swayed to and fro a bit. This will be news to my fellow group members I’m sure. I think they bought what I was selling down there. At one point, I also leaned against the wall and broke a tile. This is the first I’ve mentioned that as I believe the Statute of Limitations protects me from prosecution. I don’t even feel very bad about breaking the fragile tile either! I believe the tile contained asbestos and really should have been replaced. I could sue for exposure but won’t. You’re welcome Motown.
From there we went to downtown Detroit. Here I should say that I kept expecting to see the broken down, depressed city I had heard so much about on the news. Yes, I did some ugliness and whatnot but I had been under the impression that the whole city was a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It isn’t. It’s a beautiful city. You really should go if you haven’t been. You’ll find what I found and what the jerks in the Lamestream Media can’t seem to find: nice people living lives that are normal on the surface and- one imagines- teeming with evil carnal desires just below the surface just like you and me.
Our downtown adventures began at the Detroit Institute of Arts. It was spectacular. I think it’s famous for a mural completed by Diego Rivera in 1933: twenty-seven fresco panels depicting the history of Detroit. We were analyzing the fuck out of the mural when a smarty-pants docent approached us and asked if we had questions. I felt like we were on top of things but Kelly asked if some part of the mural represented something or other. I knew it did. The docent said, “It does.” Then she began showing off and showed us how Rivera depicted the Working Class subjects: even at leisure they were dressed very formally. “Those were different times,” she went on. “Men wore suits in public. They did not dress in shorts and t-shirts like some do today.” She looked at me as she spoke. I scratched my balls and said, “Pity.”
Yada, yada, yada and we capped off the day at Comerica Park. It was a perfect ending to a great day. Here it must be said that I didn’t see any Tigers injecting steroids.
LaTonya and Vicki had to work the next day. Kelly took me to Greenfield
Village. What an amazing place. Check it out. On the same grounds, although skipped by yours truly, you’ll also find The Henry Ford. It’s a museum. It’s the Henry Ford Museum is what it is. But for reasons that remain unclear to me it’s just called “The Henry Ford.” Nice. Actually this brings me to my only gripe about Detroit: they really play fast and loose with the English language. There is an island in the Detroit River called Grosse Ile. It should be pronounced Gross Isle obviously but instead the locals say something that rhymes with gazelle. I’m glad I broke the wall at Hitsville, U.S.A. now that I think about it. If they don’t want strangers breaking shit they should use words correctly. One wonders how a “Please Don’t Break Wall Tiles” sign would even read!
The thing that really struck me as Vicki, Kelly, LaTonya and I spent that day together was how fortunate I was to be surrounded by such amazing people. These were three smart, funny, kind, generous, talented, important people. And I fit in with them. Maybe that shouldn’t have surprised me. But it did. Everyone should be so lucky. Go spend a few days with people who are pleased as punch to be with you, who want from you only what you are able to give. If you’re lucky, they’ll show you around a major city!