Saturday, November 8, 2014

I like my town, Muskegon, as it struggles to find new citizens and start new businesses.

I knew I had to flee my apartment. It was barely afternoon and I was
growing drowsy. I had slept in until Nine, and napping after three
hours of consciousness felt embarrassing. So I left my second floor
walk up and visited the bike shop next door. A man was discussing bike
repairs his cycle needed at the end of the season, and he was engaged
in discussion with a technician named Zac. I stood beside him and
waited for a pause in the conversation and cracked a joke. "If you're
in my neighborhood, maybe you could be a friend and look me up"? The
joke had no quality. He just learned by address, and he admitted later
that he thought that address was a mail drop. It's a transitional
neighborhood and it will be five years before my address has any
prestige at all.

He had just written and mailed for me a letter of recommendation. He
had written the letter and mailed it within a day, and I really
appreciated it. So I offered to take him to the Curry Kitchen for
lunch, a buffet of all manner of Indian items, from Indian pickles to
Tandoori Chicken to Tamarind sauce. He accepted, and we drove over to
the location on Third Street. Buffets are fine. Alas, I have little
stomach for filling my belly until swelling. Plus, I had already
experienced an episode of drowsiness and adding too much food would
only deep six me for the rest of the afternoon. I wanted to enjoy a
drive in the November sunlight to Grand Rapids.

The drive from the bike shop to the curry shop charmed me. On the
traffic circle at Western and Third, I saw a man dancing as a
Marijuana leaf. I slowed down to roll down my window and yell, "power
to the people" at him. He smiled and gave me "two leaves up". On the
marquee, I saw tonight's show advertised, "A Concert With Friends,
Produced by County Commissioner Bob Scolnik". The man dancing as a
marijuana leaf was drumming up business for a marijuana exposition
inside. I regretted not snapping a picture and posting on Facebook,
adding the caption, "Apparently Bob Scolnik is not the only one at the
Frauenthal who gets by with a little help from their friends".

When I arrived at the corner of Muskegon and Third, I saw the Whistle
Punk truck, pulling its mobile pizza oven behind, it with all the
kitchen gear stashed in a trailer. The stove pipe on the pizza oven
was giving off a stack of smoke, and it made the truck look as if it
were a steam ship. Then, I noticed a pink Volkswagen, covered with
cupcake decals, in front of a storefront, which also was painted
pink.In the big picture windows, I could see dolls sitting at a
cupcake tea party, and all were dressed in pajamas and half of the
dolls were black children. It looked like the friendliest shop in the
world, and after dinner at the Indian restaurant, we visited and were
addressed as princes.

What a pleasant day in the neighborhood!

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