Thursday, January 27, 2011

MY LAST NIGHT IN LORAIN







Seventh of September, 1991.... I've been evicted from my apartment, my mother has had a stroke, and is in Oak Hills Nursing Home, I'm out of work, but I'm due to start a custodial job the next day...in Cleveland.
It's been dark for several hours, and I've been wandering around town, saying goodbye to a place I barely know anymore. I'm downtown, thinking of how many footprints I've left on Broadway, Reid, and Washington, not to mention West Erie. My trusty GPX AM-FM Radio Cassette Player is in my vest pocket, phones draped around my neck, in my backpack is a pack of Hygrades Hot Dogs and two 40 oz. of Old English 800.
As I walk across the drawbridge, on the south side, I glance down at the rear of what had been the Broadway Building, but was now a hotel...there's a guy carving a dolphin out of a block of ice, another omen that home ain't home no more.
I cross the river, and make my way to the Yacht Club, which is closed. There's a kind of porch in the back, and I'm sitting there, looking out at the lake, eating hot dogs, washing them down with malt liquor, as I listen to J.R. Nelson's Saturday Night Oldies on WMJI. Old songs, old memories, Old English starting to tiptoe its friendly way into my psyche, keeping the future at bay for a while.

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