Weekend vignettes

Walking in a Hamtramck alley yesterday, we crossed paths with a woman carrying crutches but not using them. She asked, “Making pictures?”


“Do you work for the historical society?”

“Actually, yes.”


As we were leaving the historic Jewish cemetery we visited today, he pointed out the water pump.

“Oh, you wash your hands when you leave,” I explained, “so death doesn’t follow you home.”

“Do you want to?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s broken. It didn’t work last time.”

So he got his water bottle out and we washed our hands there in the parking lot.

Published in: on September 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Yesterday in Highland Park, I got

1. three styrofoam wig heads

2. catcalled repeatedly

3. a replacement phone charger and two plastic phone cases

4. a couple of unexciting snapshots of the oft-documented abandoned municipal campus

5. told “If you want coffee, honey, go to Wendy’s” after my second failed attempt to buy a cup at an independent business

6. asked how I broke in my cowgirl boots, and if I am churchgoing.

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 12:39 am  Comments (1)  
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I hope you know something I don’t.

My friend Nell believes that the man on late-night TV can wipe away your debt with spring water. The man says it is a gift that God gave him. “I’m gonna call him. See what it’s about.”

D and I are skeptical. “With water?” D asks. “Water.”

Nell tells him about the people on the show, how much debt they had. “One lady had $350,000. Gone. Another lady had a million dollars debt, and he cleaned it all away.”

D asks, “You know how much she got paid to be on that infomercial?”

I chime in: “I’ll wipe your debt away for $50. Whatever he charges, I’ll beat his price.” D points out that the guy on TV uses spring water. I respond, “I only use Aquafina!”

We try different tactics, but Nell refuses to be moved. We don’t have an infomercial for our arguments, nor the shiny delight of instant deliverance from debt in a city famously short on economic opportunity. All we’ve got is the dull assertion that $20 you save by not getting ripped off is $20 you get to keep.

“Nell, man.”

“You know how you say it’s hard to tell who your real friends are? The magic water money guy is not your friend.”

“I’m gonna call him first thing in the morning. Just to see what it’s about. First thing in the morning.” And later: “I’m going to put $20 on high eights at Motor City tonight. If you win, that’s $2000.”

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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