Since my last post, I’ve wanted to publish all kinds of nonsense. I’ve wanted to post the war photo of my grandfather, with his hair blown back like he’d been on a speedboat. I’ve wanted to post about running by the Ohio River and include a sort of self-portrait of myself doing just that amid all of that concrete and muddy water. I’ve wanted to post something about boomer-aged rockers appearing on album covers with their motorcycles.
But after coming back from Michigan, where Sara and I spent the holiday weekend (plus Tuesday), it’s the trip that’s on my mind.
And by trip, I mean six-hour commute.
The visit was good–the usual pleasantries and laughs speckling the usual whirlwind pace of any trip home to see friends and family. There was fried bluegill, a bonfire with friends, overeating with my parents and chatting and drinking late with my wife’s, a trip to Lake Lansing, and even a two-mile run I managed to take through the neighborhoods in my hometown. It was as nourishing and as nostalgic as it all should have been.
The commutes weren’t bad, either, but they punctuate the visit and make a body feel spent. The chatter exchanged at their beginnings dissipates, leaving one with little to muse over save vanity plates and the unlikely locations of company facilities (a Nestle plant in Anderson, IN? Really?). After two-and-a-half hours, I want to be where I’m going. My patience is at constant war with any and every radio channel. Michael Bay explosions fill my brain when I’m behind anyone who think’s it’s okay–or even safe–to spend two whole minutes passing one eighteen-wheeler.
On a Michigan highway after dark, however, I drive with the worry that I’m going to smack into a deer if I’m not careful. I saw several on Friday night, most of them on the short grass by the side of the road, craning their necks and heads toward the pavement like there’s treasure on the other side. In addition to these wannabe casualties, the highway was occasionally streaked with the red and the gore that used to be other deer. I see one, and I think it’s interesting to the eye. I see more than one, and I slow down. I see a dozen or more, like I did on Friday, and I no longer want to be behind the wheel.
As for the drawing above, my verdict is this: the figure’s pretty good, the deer is elementary, the car isn’t bad and the background is awful but functional. My misadventures with Corel Sketchpad and Photoshop continue.