Friday, March 24, 2006

"Awww... no goth kids to scare?": Tim and I on The Downtown Mall

Spent yesterday hanging out with Tim from 2:20 till somewhere around 8:ish or so. We decided that, since I've been holed up in my house so much of late (with zee writing and zee being sick and zee whining on mi blog about zee writing and zee being sick) and that he's been out of town so long, the best way to spend the late afternoon would be to do our traditional "walk about" on and around the Downtown Mall.

Sadly this adventure would lack its normal chaotic energy on my part. My prior day had ended somewhere around 2:00 AM and this one had begun at 7:00. The time between crawling out of bed and meeting Tim around 2:20 had been filled by collage classes and returned papers with disheartening grades. (Actually only Math was so, but oh was it so!) In between Math and Spanish was a lengthy conversation with Anna about life, the universe and everything, (ok, we really focused more around The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul, but both god and piranha were brought up without mention of The White Stripes) which is usually the manner of conversation I have with Tim. So Tim was really getting more of the sloppy seconds of my wit. I normally go home of Thursdays and take a nap on the couch with my sister's dog Annie. Fortunately, Tim was running on fully charged batteries from sleeping in, so at least one of us was prime to keep this eccentric cheese wagon afloat. Point of fact, the man had more batteries on him then Chow Yun-Fat has pistols, but not even that seemed capable of getting his camera to work.

So there we were, wandering the streets, a totally drained poet and a programmer with a dead camera.

There was much relating of the current events in our lives. Wooster... Piedmont... a little life, the universe and everything. We stopped by the old Michie building to visit LEC and Ernie. There was the eating of dumplings and pizza and a bet that I lost in my own favor. Tim chased a squirrel or two. I made it through a whole day without writing anything.

Mostly we just wandered the back alleys and looked at the mix of beautiful dilapidation and urban flora growing through cracks and crevices. In the long running mock rivalry between the Renaissance school and LEC, I must concede that they at least have a cooler backdoor to their building. Speaking of back doors, we found perhaps the most beautiful in alley on the way back from Vinegar Hill Theater. It was a plywood door where the initial vertical layer had worn through along its wavy wood pattern to the inner horizontal layer. Perhaps alternative galleries and exhibitions with roots in found art are not fading from popularity so much in this town as failing to compete with the ones that naturally permeate from the crumbling brickwork.

I was less enthusiastic with some of are wandering than Tim I'm afraid. I took me a while to figure out why though. It wasn't so much a fear of going down a back alley. I'm 6'2 and capable enough of defending myself if that were even a concern. What it was I finally realized was more a since of being an outsider. I used to be downtown 5 days a week for six years. The last two years I've been downtown maybe 30 times. A lot has changed. It just doesn't feel like my playground anymore. I felt like a stranger on someone's lawn, examining the crack in their birdbath. A weird feeling, I know. Especially in the face of someone who has been at Wooster and seen Downtown much, much less than I have. Still, I really did enjoy the scenes, and Tim's right: the best part is when you come out of the alley somewhere far off your mental map. There's a nice portal feeling to it.

We also (and chronology completely escapes me on all of this by the way) watched the construction next to the amphitheater (notably the huge drill that was putting 14 to 20 foot poles into the ground) listened to the train, and visited the Glass Building around this block of time. At the glass building I saw a newspaper with a front-page article on the Basque ceasefire. I'd never seen Basque face wear before. Much like there language, it's very striking.

Somewhere in all of this, after hitting up The Old Hardwear Store, we took a breather at the Mudhouse. He got a hot chocolate and I got a mocha. As the caffeine started to shut down my system we discussed how transgender would not really exist had the 60s feminist movement really worked. It was an interesting conversation. As I look back on it now, in a less tired state of mind, it would perhaps be better fit in another entry where it could be better explored.

As the sky darkened we walked back to the Michie building to meet his dad. He was taking a Tai Chi class. I noticed a large flat-screen television in the studio, which I can only hope is used for the ancient art of "Tai Vi." Actually, Jeff's class sounds pretty cool. I'm hoping to check it out sometime this summer as a possibility. I need to get back into martial arts of some form. All this geek'ng and blogg'n's getting me pretty flabby.

Visited Tim's place briefly. (Hope you get well soon Patti!) Played with his dogs and rat. Then we went our ways.

Oh, and no he did not stink of the durian. :)


Anonymous Tim McCormack said...

I'll post the pictures my camera did feel like taking once I get back to Wooster.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Tim McCormack said...

Alright, I've posted the only two photos worth posting from our walk. (By the way, my camera is doing better now.)

The wall, 1

The wall, 2

I release these images under the Creative Commons by-nc-sa-2.5 license.

7:02 PM  

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