I went to Detroit for a short getaway to see a friend; we'll call him Bob. I did not go with the intention of collecting graffiti shots, but I thought there would be time for it in the crevices of our Detroit experience between the Henry Ford Museum, a Tigers game, Canada, a pig roast, and eating literally everything that came within a one mile radius of my face, including Derek. I'll get to Derek in a second. Bob informed me on Friday night that just across the river was Canada. I had no idea it was there, which proves how much attention I paid in eighth grade geography. So we decided that Saturday morning (late morning) we'd drive over to Windsor, Ontario because I happened to bring my passport and I had never been to Canada before. I've been a Minnesotan for 27 years, and I'd been all the way to Namibia in southern Africa, but I'd never been to Canada.
Canada was just as I expected it. The streets were paved in slippery maple syrup, hockey pucks rained down from the sky and Mounties patrolled the city on stallions. We had burgers and Canadian maple beer, and we happened to walk by some street art painted over a brick apartment complex. I saw a few of them and took some shots. I felt bad for not getting anything in the city of Detroit where some really great graffiti can be found, but Bob wasn't willing to take me to the parts where we might find some of the best stuff. At least not that time around. Next time I'll make him take me there.
That night was the night of Derek. Derek was a pig slowly roasting in Bob's neighbor's backyard, named after the one hated resident of the subdivision. And after a mountain of hors d oeuvres (mountains I can move, you know) and drinks and seconds and thirds and fourths of Derek the pig, I was deeply entrenched in a food coma and my insides were a war-zone. I lost all hope for doing any graffiti hunting the next day, and thought I might not even wake up the next morning. Bob and I both wanted to kill ourselves.
We got a slow start to Ann Arbor the next morning. Derek was satisfying when he first went in, but after our relationship took off, he became a parasite, and so ensued an abusive relationship. But Bob and I made it to Ann Arbor and lunched at a vegan organic restaurant and drank fresh-squeezed vegetable juice from a vegan organic juice bar, and I felt that soon Derek would be out of my life.
We happened to wander past a dumpster in an alley that was spray painted by some amateur artists, and I took a picture of it. It was the kind of thing that says something incoherent and vague in poorly chosen colors and drips down like blood running out of a deep cut. Not great, but I like the chaos. I kept walking down the alley and turned the corner and found where all those vegan organic college hippies have thrown up all over the brick walls with their paint. It was an explosion of colors, images, tags, sayings and hashtags. (Note, everyone should #prayforJason).
I wish I had spent more time taking better pictures at better angles and zooming in on better images. I could have spent an hour in that alley strip, but the green juice was getting in a fight with Derek, and I had to make it to a bathroom and then rush to the airport to make my flight. So I did what I could at the time. So far Ann Arbor has been my favorite site, and I have a good reason to go back there and get Detroit. I'll make my next trip out more purposeful instead of drinking and eating all the food in Mish (does anybody call it that?) and going to Canada to see the Mounties.
Next time I'm in the Detroit greater area, I'll be more intent on graffiti hunting. It'll be way more gooder, as a good friend of mine would say. Don't try to be more gooder than anyone else. Just try to be more gooder than yourself last time you were in Detroit. My titbit of great and infallible wisdom today.
Catfish in the Mud
I went to Namibia and took a tour of Sossusvlei, where it hasn't rained in 6 years. The river is completely dried up. My guide told me that even in the six-year drought, catfish are hibernating deep down in the mud and will surface again when the rains come back and restore life to the desert. I didn't believe him at first, like I didn't believe in the mysterious fairy circles on the dunes. But now the idea of catfish in the mud has become a metaphor for the things trapped on the inside and down below that wait for the rains to give them some vigor and life. Catfish in the Mud is a pretty standard millennial blog in which I say mostly nothing in about 300 words.