Cafe Hitch-hike



(Disclaimer: This might be long, a little disjointed. Read on to find out why.)

Johnny stayed over Friday night and left at 7:00 a.m. to work on his usual mounds of legal and InfoConglomo work. I murmured my goodbyes and a kiss, and remained in my soft warm bed 'til about 1. At about quarter-after, I thought, "hey, I've got a thank-you letter to write!" I rolled out of bed and into some clothes worn the day before. I pulled on a red bandana over my hair, housecleaning style, because my hair had a case of Frizzled6.

I made my way to the univ.lib to work on my thank-you letters to the university director and the search committee. "Thanks for your warm welcome... I appreciate the open interaction... Please remember this is how I kick boo-tay as a librarian (okay, didn't say it quite like that)... Please consider me a candidate, and best wishes for your institution."

I was pretty nervous thinking about whether or not I got the job. I was one of 4 candidates, out of 120, got a final interview. I know a lot of it had to do with promoting myself to the library director at the job fair, which felt to me like doing a WWF Smackdown number/agressive pick-up in a bar. The other funny thing was that the library secretary accidently e-mailed me a cover letter addressed to another finalist; she was an graduate assistant who started in the univ.lib the same time I had. Wow, I'm running against a classmate. The search committee interviews another person next week.

I think I may have one-up on my former classmate, but if the third one is dyano-supreme with more experience, I think he/she may get it. I will know in 1 month. (Sigh). I told myself to chuck these thoughts to the back of my mind so they don't make me more nervous.


To unwind after the letter-writing, I made my way to Hart Plaza that hosted Movement 2004, the big techno festival. I'm very not familiar with techno music artists, but I went to get aquainted and because it was free. What can I say??? It may had been 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon, but people were just dancing, grooving, having a great time! The best DJs I heard were actually women (let's hear it for chick DJs!). There was one, Jeannie Hopper, and another who was an impromtu add who had everybody dancing. It was addictive, it was like I didn't want to stop!

The music was an mix of classic soul, rap, pop, jazz, with a base note of electric. I could see the music's appeal to a broad range of folk. My hips started to bob and sway in ways they hadn't for years. It was a prosaic, but charged event. The undertow of techno grabbed me and pulled me under!

I walked around and plenty of shops were promoting their DJ equipment. People were break dancing, wow, I hadn't seen that in ages.

After a while, I went to get some jungle juice, a combo of rum and fruit juices. I was dancing and everything was cool for a while. I don't know what happened but I felt really weird after that. I didn't know if it had to do with only eating yogurt all day, or maybe I was dehydrated, the music too loud or what.

My head was spinning and felt a little heavy. My body felt light and wavy, like I was floating on ocean waves. I've never gotten so affected by one drink before, and it was only 1 1/2 cups. Was it spiked with something else? I was starting to feel sick and ran to a booth to order something to eat, but that didn't even help. The music was turning into noise, I don't know what was happening. Passing out on the soft green grass by the Detroit River seemed very alluring. Instead, I grabbed my car keys and retreated to my car. On the way there, I stopped at a Subway restaurant because maybe I needed something else. I wasn't sure I was in decent enough condition to drive. The line was terribly long and only 1 clerk was working.

I felt strange. It took me back to my days at Rust Belt State and the summer after the ill-fated internship where I stayed out 'til 3 AM dancing, drinking, and stumbling to the 7-11 on the way home for some Dorito's.

I didn't take the freeways home but some "back roads" winding through Detroit. Wow, it was weird. There I was, driving through the bowels of the American industrial machine. Detroit still has a lot of industry, though not as much as it had 50 years ago. It felt surreal to cruise past the ethnic enclaves, abandoned buildings, and strips of vacant lots. I drove by my favorite industrial area: Rouge Steel and the neighboring CSX trainyard.

It's really something because it's nestled next to a predominately Arab-neighborhood. There's a mosque with huge loudspeakers that announce when to say the prayers to Mecca; former beau Bill, who drove locomotives, said he was able to hear the calls to prayer above the loud locomotive engines. Next to the mosque is an old mini-mall of shops and restaurants with Arabic signage. This area is the first stop for many Arab immigrants, and a few homes were raided shortly after 9-11.

The drive home was unhindered, but buzzed as I was from whatever-it-was, I entered the clean neighborhoods of my suburb feeling safe. My abode isn't fancy, and the neighborhood is upper blue-collar, part Arab, but it looked more cared-for than most parts of Detroit.

I retreated to my bed, and slept for the next 14 hours. What a way to spend my precious Memorial Day weekend!

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