Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Road and back

I'm well known for my roadtrips, both planned and spontaneous. My ex-wife whom I have reconnected with recently reminded me of the roadtrips I took with her,  adventures that she would never have done herself. And these 1970's trips in my 1968 Mustang Fastback were with a folded roadmap, no GPS, no cell phones and no real destinations. 

Our first trip took us east, to Quebec, New Brunswick, Maine and New York. Many others followed including Europe and Great Britain.

This latest roadtrip as I said in the earlier blog, had several ranges of emotion; my aunt's death, my cousin's continuing quest at 71, to learn who her father was, the ties to old school friends, a family broken apart by a horrible crime,  an evening with my ex, a visit with an old friend who had her battles with herself and coming out of it.

This trip which I stared June 16 took me to Detroit and driving a rental to NYC to see an old friend and his family and discovering the villages north of the city where life seemed to be a movie to me. 

I drove to the Jersey shores to see my cousin, then back to Detroit, 4 days and 1500 miles. This time with GPS, iPod, cell phone and a computer. And all the appropriate chargers required.

I took Woodward Avenue north in Detroit, passing my the empty streets and shut-down businesses and burned-out houses, places I used to know as a teen, places I hung out at and created memories. 

Then Northern Michigan with my other cousin, where we met our other cousin (lots of cousins) to see my aunt, who at 98, passed away a day before I got there. I insisted I wanted to see her, she was the original reason for this trip.

But the funeral director (and I'll get to him in a minute) said it was too late, she was to be cremated. But he finally said they would bring her back for us to see. It may sound morbid to some of you, I guess it's an eastern European thing, ethnic, as my friend says. I was just used to seeing dead relatives and touching their hand.

The funeral director was quite the guy, wide-eyed, hand-shaking, he seemed to be drafted from used car salesman school, smiling, ready to go. Actually I loved it, made a note to use that in a future script.

Then off to Windsor where I stayed at two different places, both belonging to long-time French Canadian buddies from high school. This is where it  began to confuse me.

My life in LA is so different from Windsor, a city of 200,000 and depending totally on the auto business, my memories flowed back as we talked and laughed and quietly dealt with the losses of parents and friends.

It is true old friends are the best, but maybe it's only because they've known us longer and we don't have to prove anything to them. Maybe it's a sense of our own mortality and comforting to know someone knew us at 17.

Most of the people I met have lived their lives in one place, much different than the dozen or so places I've lived and worked in. I envy the sense of permanence they have,  yet I enjoyed the different places I've lived and worked in. 


Where would we all be without contradictions.

I think my longing for a new highway I've never been on comes from growing up on the vast openness of the prairies, where one drives a hundred miles to shop in a bigger town. But there's also a sense of  security in it for me, I am alone, or with a friend, the open road doesn't judge me or even care that much about me.

But it allows me peace and comfort and the possibility of something new or amazing around the next curve or the other side of a hill.

But it also isn't helping me finance Ghostkeeper, is it?

Back to work. Hope you guys stick around, the ride is gonna get bumpy.