Things I’m Digging

The filmmaker and I are listening to Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” because we’re both still high from meeting Daniel Pearl. The grill is going, steak and portabella’s primed, our signature Mexican Bloody Mary’s in hand. It’s a good way to spend the last hours of weekend. The filmmaker has a decent impression going and with my vocals, we’re not half bad…but what matters more is that when I turn to him and say, “I don’t know what to write about tonight,” he takes pause and actually thinks about suggestions. It is the best kind of response—and not one often found outside of the writer’s clan…Which brings me to:
Things I Dig About Michigan that I Didn’t Have in North Carolina:
1. A smoke-free bar 1 mile away that sells 25 oz. Guinness for $4.25 and has a pool table. It is, by all accounts, “where everybody knows your name.”
2. Free anything at anytime: music, theatre, dance, art exhibits, readings, film screenings. Also–discounts for things that aren’t free, such as $35 for prime tickets to see artists like Taj Mahal, Lyle Lovett, and Bela Fleck perform in small auditoriums with state-of-the-art sound.
3. An orchestra of child prodigy artists who practice four mornings a week within earshot of my cabin. I can hear the pulsing cadence of Respighi while I take my morning coffee.
4. An uninterrupted horizon (lakes are good for this, especially when they’re everywhere).
5. The fact that when students run along the path behind my cabin, trying not to be tardy to class, I can feel their pounding feet through ground, through the foundation, right up through the linoleum floors of my cabin. This is, I believe, is result of the sandy Northern Michigan “soil.”
6. The fact that this is still rural, semi-private, and beautiful—yet I’m not alone, in the middle of nowhere, with very few resources nearby.
7. I get to go to an old-fashioned mailroom on campus with dial locks and glass windows everyday to check my mail, PO Box 199, Mailbox 99. It’s a nice feeling.
8. This one was suggested as a final addition to the list: Getting to kiss the filmmaker. [Fade out…]

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