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Friday, July 17, 2015

I was born lonely down by the riverside




* GI Bill pays for unaccredited sex, Bible and massage schools.

* Thoughtful: Can Detroit Save White People?

* Seriously? Michael Bolton is trying to save Detroit. Yes, that Michael Bolton:

A fan leans in for a hug. A cop on a horse invites him to visit the stable. A bald man who sings in a Bolton tribute band asks for a selfie.
“It’s $22.50,” Bolton says, smiling. “You got PayPal?”

* I discovered the wonder that is Detroit a long, long time ago. This is my Detroit story. One of ‘em, anyway. Such as it is.

I was living in Chicago at the time. My dearest friend had moved from a small Illinois town to one of the inner ring suburbs of Detroit. Except for her older boyfriend, who had his own situation, she knew no one in the Detroit area. She needed company and she needed it bad.

I got to her apartment on a Friday night. First thing in the door, her cat hissed at me. Her cat hissed at me all weekend. I was starting to understand why she didn't get a lot of visitors.

After dinner, we went to a disco on Eight Mile Road. I danced with a couple really nice engineer types from the automotive industry (not at the same time), all of whom proposed marriage to me right there, right then. Seriously.

Saturday morning, after an early breakfast, we drove through the streets of Detroit to the Yacht Club, which is on an island in the Detroit River. The boyfriend was already waiting for us.

It was a beautiful, old boat -- all teak and varnish and brass -- but very well cared for. I remember him saying it had two Olds Marine V8s. The sound of those engines idling in the shallows was so deep, so throaty. So beautiful.

As soon as we untied from the dock, he asked, “have you ever piloted a boat, before?”

Me? Piloted a boat? Hell yeah I’ve piloted a boat. Many boats, as a matter of fact. I was raised on the water. I am a sea dog.

“Okay, good,” he said as he installed me behind the wheel. “Just don’t drift into Canadian waters, because I lost my Canada flag.”

Why, will Canada shoot us out of the water if I do? But, he didn’t hear me as he and my friend had already closed the door to wherever they escaped to down below.

And, so it came to be, me piloting a 36 foot cruiser up and down the Detroit River, on a calm, sunny day, waving to other boats, avoiding eye contact with the Canadian Coast Guard, while my friend and her much older boyfriend were getting it on below deck.

It felt so good, my bare feet on the smooth, wooden planks, the sun on my shoulders, hands loose on the wheel, as I guided her out into open water (it’s a wide river). It changes your posture to be solely responsible for so much power. It changes you.

It was nothing like my prior boat piloting experience, which you probably already guessed consisted of not much at all (i.e., my dad’s 14' foot Alumacraft with the 25 horse outboard, a canoe or two or three, and a plastic paddle boat, all on the Midwest’s tiny lakes and streams).

Side note: I don’t actually remember ever seeing the Canadian Coast Guard out there, but I’m sure if they saw me going up and down the river all day, alone, they probably wondered what the heck is going on here.

Also, the usual apologies apply here in case you already heard this story.

* And I was just thirteen when I had to leave home.... (Seger.)

Posted by Marie at July 17, 2015 9:30 PM