Blink blink. Blink blink.
The only way to stop
the blinking is to type.
Please excuse the frantic
pace, the sense of running
from something. If I
stop, the cursor starts
me, reminds me of my
“You are a human. You
don’t know what to type.
You have been shirking
your duty to write your
story. Now, you are stuck.
The only thing you can
do is stare at a cursor.
Blink blink. You’re a
Without the understanding
that there is a higher power
and butter before bed,
you wouldn’t think that
a cursor could be
The truth is, maybe it’s
not the cursor at all.
Maybe it’s my heart going
beep beep thump thump,
reminding me every
moment that I won’t
get to my why
before I die.
Alexis and I drove to Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana, over the Memorial Day weekend. You drive east on 80/94, south on I-65 to Indianapolis, and then east on I-70 until you get to Columbus. My brother, Jeff, and his wife, Laura, live in the German Village section of Columbus. The streets are made of brick and so are the houses, which are really close together. There’s not a lot of sunlight in the two feet of space between the houses. If you drop a contact there in the middle of the day you ‘ll need to go find the flashlight.
On Saturday night, since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, my brother and I got wasted. That’s what brothers from the Region do when they haven’t seen each other in a while. On the way into twon, Alexis and I had stopped at a place called Katzinger’s Deli, which may be the best in America. We bought a bunch of turkey and pastrami and beef and came back to the house and made sandwiches. Katzinger’s Deli also happens to make the best German potato salad in America, and they have great pickles. They keep them in a barrel in front of the counter. You can eat pickles for free as you wait to order.
I am pretty much always up for partying. It’s been that way since I was 15, or even before that. So are my brothers. Jeff, however – just this once – may have had more of a hankering to do so than I. His wife, Laura, is in the middle of chemotherapy for breast cancer. I don’t know what else to say about this. The cursor taunts me once again.
One of the things we did was go to a free concert, if that’s what you want to call it, in the Columbus Commons. This is an open green surrounded by reasonably tall buildings on all four sides. The buildings aren’t tall by Chicago standards, but they’re tall enough to create a tunnel effect. On one end is a huge stage. That’s where actors from “Shadowbox” put on a musical called “Which one’s Pink.” This is a line from a Pink Floyd song.
The musical, or concert, is essentially about the life of Syd Barrett, who founded Pink Floyd. Syd, ran into some head winds after doing a ton of acid. Eventually, Roger Waters and gang booted Sid out of the band. He got fat and bald and eventually died. A rather poignant moment in the performance is when Sid comes back after a six-year hiatus and sits on a couch at the recording studio – Abbey Road, I believe.
“Who’s that on the couch?” the manager asks David Gilmour.
“I don’t know.”
It was Sid Barat. He got fat and bald and unrecognizable. The band, or the actors, played Pink Floyd songs loud and well. Jeff and Laura had seen “Pink” before. But Alexis and I were in awe. I thought we were going to see a local Pink Floyd cover band. It turned into a documentary musical with a concert attached that will blow your mind if you ever get stuck in Columbus with nothing to do.
The four of us talked a lot about breast cancer and the treatment for it. Laura, not one to attract attention, is put in the uncomfortable position of having to answer questions from family about the disease and how it is affecting her. Her courage can’t be overstated.
To add to the challenge, their washer broke down last week. So yesterday, Alexis and I wound up at 8am at the Hofsrau Laundromat on 3rdStreet. There was this woman, a local teacher, who took up all but two of the washers.
“May is crazy for me. I don’t get to do laundry. I have two sons and I just have to catch up. I left you two washers.”
We needed three washers, so there was a bit of a delay. Alexis and I are comfortable with delays. She didn’t graduate law school until she was 41. I’m 56 and I’m working on my MBA.
We wound up walking down the street to the Stauf’s coffee shop. We ordered our stuff – Alexis, iced coffee and me a standard hot latte – and sat at a little table next to the front window. Alexis tried to find a newspaper for me but couldn’t.
“What’s the world coming to when you can’t find a newspaper in a coffee shop in the German Village on a Sunday morning.” I said. It’s the new normal. No radio, no newspaper.
We left Columbus at 1pm eastern yesterday and drove to my cousin’s on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Michelle’s daughter KK was graduating from Cathedral High School and they were having a party at the Sterrett Center at Fort Harrison. My brother Brian drove down with his family, five Region Rats stuck in a car for three hours. And my sister, Jennifer, drove down with her family, another five Region Rats stuck in a car. It made me smile as I watched them all get out in the parking lot. Katie, my brother’s oldest, graduates this year and is headed to IU. Pretty soon my brother and sister and their spouses will experience what Alexis and I did.
Their kids will grow up and leave. You will long for the day that you could cram in a car and drive for three hours. I can’t remember the last time the five of us did it.
My aunt Joanie was at the party. She’s my mom’s twin sister. It is always difficult to see my aunt Joanie. She’s a dead ringer for my mom. They were two fireballs who could light up a room just by walking in with their smiles. For the last 30 years, there has only been one of the two smiles in the world. That hurts a lot of people, notably my aunt. I get the feeling that she could never quite put it to bed that her twin sister died. Nor should she, I suppose.
My aunt Joanie and I talked about the recent death of her mom, my grandmother, at 98.
“I miss her every day,” Joanie said. “I talk to her.”
“You talk to her?”
“Yes, I do.”
I made a silly joke and then danced to “Sweet Home Alabama” with my aunt. Soon after, Alexis and I drove back to the Region on I-65. It was 95 degrees out with a few low-lying clouds to the west. This gave the sunset, which lasted for a couple hours, a pink and purple hue. Typically, the drive up I-65 across pig farms and dairies, soybeans and corn is brutal. You can’t wait for it to be over.
But when there’s a sunset that’s purple and pink and you hold hands with your wife and listen to a podcast, it’s not all bad. Right now, it’s 4:26am and I gotta take a shower and go do a radio show. A lot going through my mind.
The Cleveland Cavaliers
My aunt Joanie
and local radio.