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Lake of Fire [Oct. 16th, 2003|01:25 pm]
(Part Three.)

No I stand my ground,
won't be turned around,
and I'll keep this world
from dragging me down.
Gonna stand my ground,
and I won't back down.


I will stand my ground.


I told my bosses at OnStar in a meeting about my insubordination and 'cancerous attitude' that I had rolled with fire all my life. It works for me, and I would continue to do so, indefinitely.

Being mean doesn't make me feel happy. Being treated unfairly doesn't make me feel anything better than being mean, however, and that usually carries me into a mean streak that will set your ass on fire and cause me never to look back at you.

There are exceptions. I would have, at a point in my life, wrote off my dad, forever into oblivion. My father has not had an easy life. We talked much of this in the minivan ride back home, and we discussed my life a bit.

Dad learned to be a little cold at an early age. When he was a little youngin', and his family had left their Lake Village farm poverty to greater parts and opportunities up to Michigan, he had to leave a dog. That dog was a source of dad's pride and joy at the time. It was one of the few bright spots in his early existence, and when he left that dog on the farm in Lake Village, he parted with a little bit of himself.

When we buried Alma, I put a bit of the hellfire to rest.

Mind you, I guard against my trusting nature, as it leads me into gullibility. I keep a close shield over my own life to those around me because it's not always necessary for everyone to know exactly what I'm feeling and thinking, especially when they want me to tell them.

That's not for others to dictate. I'll tell people when I'm goddamn ready.

There is no shield with God, however. I have no qualms raising my fist to the sky in rage, telling him that times are becoming a bit too rough for my weathering.

I have dysfunctions as well as my dad. Everyone has them, including you. I choose not to give a final judgement on anything, due to the fact that humans are stupid and wrong and everything not close to perfect. I have no deific wisdom to plant upon the earth, but when I get a nugget from the subconscious, I am a sharing individual, and I pass it along to you for nourishment.

Times are similar for Ken and I, though he has a 20 year age difference on me. I'm glad to be 26 and left without much and no finance to boot. I'd rather be doing better, but who can say what better is in times of hard nature.

Alma, my grandmother, suffered through many hard times. Her life is a saga of tears, but she remained happy through most of them, and she never intentionally messed with anyone, to her credit. She loved me dearly, and I miss her. I love her, and no one can take that from me.

My dad faces a strange situation. He has no worry with grandma at this point, and the rest of the brothers and sisters are not necessary for his responsibility. Once Alma's estate is closed, that's the last of the rough edges. He still calls me up from time to time, but I'm not a major responsibility any further than his siblings. He's got a lot of time now, and he's not sure what to do with it.

One thing I am sure of is the nature of Michigan in 2003, and how I do not fit in with this reality.

We took a more scenic, city-littered trip up from Lake Village on the return trip. We pattered up 65, took Arkansas 1 NB, sputtered through the state right to Memphis.

Over the bridge, I hadn't noticed the pyramid until we were over the waterfront. I did most of the driving through the South, and it was dark when I saw the triangle on the other part of the riverbank. I later found out it was the Memphis Pyramid, which hosts the NBA Grizzlies games. For a moment, I thought I'd taken a strange turn and ended up near the Luxor in Vegas.

On we puttered through Tennessee, through Nashville, onward toward the state border.

We stayed the night in Hunter S. Thompson's home state. Right outside of Lexington, we rested our heads at a Quality Inn. This was the first great place we stayed, as the first two in Arkansas weren't the best. This Quality Inn was just the trick to rest ourselves for a few hours, and then we hit the road for the final bout of our trip.

After a strange turn in Louisville, we ended up in Indiana, and we ran into dead ends along a river in a Utica community that had no way North. We turned back to the highway and decided to take the other way to Cincinnati.

On through Cinci, Dayton, and Toledo we plodded. I-75 led us through Ohio, to the Michigan border.

The entire ride down and back up had few traffic jams or anything other than a short 10 minute snag in Tennessee from a major car accident on the other side.

At the Michigan Welcome exit, however, the MI road commission decided to lay construction barrels and narrow I-75 on a Sunday night down to one lane at the border. Why in blazes they had barrels was beyond me. No one worked on that stretch of 2 miles, and in the meanwhile, cars backed up for miles in Monroe county.

The jam took 50 minutes to travel 2 miles. It was quite dark by then, and I was quite aggravated.

Michigan's leg was the most tense part of the trip. No one drives well in our state. There are no rules of etiquette. Unlike every other state, where you'd stay in the right lane and use the others for passing, this state knows no such courtesy. It is a rude, stupid state, run by frigging idiots and criminals who make the whole thing a really shitty place to live, and a less-than-great place to visit. Large trucks putter in the left lane. Cloggage from construction litters southern Michigan. You can't go anywhere on weekends, as they shut many roads down.

I have an idea what it's all about right now . . . soon Detroit will host a Super Bowl, and it will also be host to a baseball All-Star Game. U of D Mercy will be host to an NCAA tourney soon as well. They're trying to build up a city that needed to be reborn 20 years ago on a 5 year plan that shortens itself to a couple years. It is the worst cluster fuck you could ever imagine, and it is happening right now in this foul year of 2003.

I had no choice but to return. There is no money in my bank account, and I am still without work. I don't even want to work in this state, or live here, for that matter.

Trapped like a rat, I had to return with my dad. We avoided major collisions with asshole Michigan drivers and took base line 8 Mile EB from I-75 back home.

I returned home to an empty house. My mom had gone up to Fenton for the weekend, and my dad returned to his home after my drop-off. I cracked a Busch Light, the last one left in the fridge. On the TV, Sunday Night Football on ESPN played, but I wasn't much interested. I'd been itching to get my life back on track. Now were the first minutes, and damn if it wasn't slower.

However, I remain faithful and hopeful despite the despair. I will survive, and I will thrive. I will do it my way, on my terms, with hints and clues from the strange places and people.

My grandmother deserves this final peace. I hope someday to join her.