I drove through Ohio. I was so awake the whole of it that I kept on going with only short breaks until I reached Cleveland. By then my mind had good fuzzy, and time and travelling turned into one... time travel.
I’ve yet to mail a letter, so I’m beginning to feel disconnected. Last night I called home. Now I’m at a restaurant waiting for my breakfast at Shorty’s Restaurant on the Pennsylvania border to Ohio, drinking coffee and drying my hair across my back. The morning, I wrote the last page, yesterday, was long and distorted, dangerous, lowly and a mixture of all things. It was both friendly and stuck up. But I’m revealing mostly my feelings for Cleveland. I was very tired by the time I reached Cleveland, my eyes were buggy, flicking shut like wings tucking together on a bugs back and I went for the first ramp I saw, which was the East Parking ramp of Jacob’s Stadium, home of the Cleveland Indians. Then I was lost for a long time. I had an old map (1984) and it had very few of the same roads indicated. I couldn’t get my bearings. But it was 06:00, so it didn’t matter, I had plenty of time. I’d come to Cleveland for 2 reasons. First was the Art Museum. Second was the Victorian buildings that some map had mentioned. What I found was the Tower City, the business section of the city. Big businesses, buildings, and big wigs, all going to work at 07:00. (There is my waitress, now, making a big stick over cherry cheesecake. She just admitted, “On, no, I don’t even know how to cook.” One of the waitresses is pregnant, due Sunday Sept 3. She’s a red head, curly and freckled. The other, tight straight pony tail and a soft wave loll of a horse tail, blonding down from the baby soft spot skull.)
I wanted to fit in more. But everybody waited for stop lights, walk signs. I was weird, even when nobody was coming. When I crossd the street early, and a black man did from the other side, a passing cop in a Blazer truck honked at us. That was one of very few black men I saw in the business section, I see now. I wouldn’t have thought of it then. (I see coffee sparkles from my lips showing on this page. The waitress has a very sharp nose and eyes that don’t belong on a very sterile, sculpted face. They are dark eyes, wide in the center but coming very quickly into a sharp V. On second glance, they are not dark, they are just mysterious. I don’t dare look for their mysteries.) (She just poured me a cup of coffee, and I’d forgotten it, so I just scalded my mouth on the lip of the curvy cup, shiney brown clay with yellow highlights. My tongue is on fire from the center back. The tip is cool and moist, wanting another sip. I take it and re-burn the center, but I will not learn unless my entire tongue is well-done.) I saw, in the distance, no, I perceived the direction of the Museum of Art from the map, but could not tell which road it was on or intersected near. So I started that direction. There were Victorian buildings and other decorated style warehouses. They looked straight from Nottingham, before it was bombed. One was so beautiful, except it had few windows. Red brick and ivy, burned black by years and presumably fire or smoke. I dreamed of starting a factory there, I stood and watched.
Then I continued that way. The road on which the factory bordered was actual cobbles, the large ones like I piled in Jill’s yard. The old ones. They had been made irregular by time and wear, but nothing was going to choose to drive this road anymore, it was accepted instead as an alley. I continued that way, seeing more and more warehouses standing empty. Churches, mansion houses, all straight from England in style, but straight from hell in upkeep. No one was around at this time of morning, but there wasn’t ever much reason to be in this area, except if you were here to tear down one of these classic buildings. I continued east on Superior. They were trying to fix up the buildings there, but it wasn’t much of an improvement. People can’t live in buildings like these, these are factories for making and warehousing a work force. But I saw no one. All the drivers were starting to give me strange looks. The white drivers looked outraged, the blacks in cars sometimes looked at me the same way. But they all looked at me. One man honked at me and yelled something. I decided to turn around from that street, and head back. I was then gaining fear of being killed by a gang. Before and after that empty, monstrous warehouse I turned back from, I had passed lots of black men, older than 50, who asked if I could spare some change. One asked for 2 cents. I said no to the question, and the quarter, nickel, and dime were jingling together in my pocket. Then I kept walking past the Masonic temple, and passed some of the greatest Victorian style buildings I’d ever seen. Then the building style changed dramatically. I went through an all government building section, firehouses or something. On the other side was a ghetto area, a place, like north Minneapolis, except a lot worse, and how many times bigger. I was now trying desperately to get to the garage where I was parked, but I had over a mile left to go. Maybe two. I continued to greet and be greeted by almost every black man I passed. I was out of my place and they knew it. I must have been the only white man in that area for years. I knew why, though, it was a bad area. I sure wouldn’t go again. There is no way anyone would ever go it they didn’t have to. I drove through it on my lost way out of Cleveland, because I had driven many miles without finding an E90 exit. One woman, at a bus stopped, well-dressed in that she looked sexy, much older than I, perhaps 30+, called out “Hey blondie, come here.” I looked her way, shook my head to her and walked on. I escaped later, and happily, still scared though, left Cleveland.
I kept going until I got to a campsite on the border of Ohio called Pymatuning State Park. I pitched the tent and fell asleep immediately. I was not bothered by anyone, and they let me borrow a can opener. I played 8-ball with a local, who wanted to play for a buck-a-ball. I didn't, unfortunately, because I was much better than he, and won both games. Then, I made dinner, a can of peas, which I ate while I made a can of beans. Then chicken noodle soup, and a mandarine oranges in a light sauce for both desert and a beverage. At 21:00, I did a little late night driving. I went to a drive in for the double feature "A Kid in King Arthur's Court", and "9 Months". They went till 23:25. I enjoyed it, as the stars were gorgeous and incredibly bright and clear. I laid on the warm hood of the Montero with a blanket. I could have slept there.
Karlsruhe to Frankfurt Main
I am on a train, and I'm the only person going to Lars' flat tonight, a Sunday. They stayed to see the video made for the wedding which didn't work at the reception. Lars gave me the keys and some instructions. I'll leave there at 8am tomorrow by Taxi. I'll ask Lars tonight by phone how I can call for a taxi to take me to the airport in Erfurt in the morning. I could take the train, but that would take an hour or more.
We just passed through Biblis. I seem to be inhabiting the reserved seat of someone who should have gotten on at Freiburg, which is extremely south of where I got on the train, so I think they missed it. Good for me.
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
I had a nice swim this morning in the pool of the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids. Then a buffet breakfast with Rachel in the hotel restaurant, which was richly decorated with formidable light fixtures. My father's brothers and their wives and children came to join us, after we'd finished. We will help John and Patty move another load into their house in Spring Grove after we return.
I left work at 14:30 on the BMW and took the Waukon and Hwy 76 route to Caledonia so that I could help out at the Ramsey St. house. I removed a ceiling fan and replaced it with a light fixture. We then came home brought into our house the remaining bookshelves, had some soup for dinner, and then headed off to a great movie remake of "Total Recall". It was my favourite movie of the year. We had a very nice time, and then returned home to put our bookshelves in place and start moving books and records onto them. I had to do some wiring to get the thermostat to come through a cupboard, but it turned out quite nicely, and after a few episodes of Flashpoint, we went to bed.
We headed off with Frida and Jill to Minneapolis, where some of us would go to a Vikings game tonight with the Tollefsons and stay at a hotel in Bloomington near the Mall of America. It is the last season that they will play in the Metrodome, which will be imploded after the last game. We stopped at Newts on the way through Rochester. We gave Jill a ride up for the weekend, and left her at our hotel, Le Bourgette, in Bloomington. Then we stopped at Herbergers to shop for swimwear for Frida, and I bought some clothing too. We met the Tollefsons in their room and took the hotel shuttle tother to the Mall of America. Then we got our $4 light rail tickets to the dome. We ate brats and polish sausages for dinner, and watched the Vikings win the game.