*photo stolen without chuck's permission, per usual
it took me about 10 minutes to realize that i'd been listening to the incessant whinny of sirens. life in the hillside ... this is the sound of my white noise. but once i noticed it, i sprung to action: sprinted out to chuck's deck to see where whatever was unfolding. there were plumes of smoke masking the view of the church up the hill. i grabbed a hoodie. camera phone. flip flops. i was still slinging my purse over my shoulder and coaxing chuckster to action. he was hemming which of his many recording devices to bring up the hill: a small camera? a large camera? a video camera ...
"lets go, lets go, lets go!" i said.
very few people came out for the garage fire. us. a woman in a robe. two young 20-somethings. ...
"where is everyone?" i asked chuck.
"well," he said. "it is 4:30 a.m."
i can't get enough of this stuff. i am officially a gawker. a rubber necker. an ambulance chaser and a smoke detector. i blame a youths-worth of encyclopedia brown saturation. and seasons 1-4 of murder she wrote.
MAPQUEST: ABOVE AND BEYOND
i accidentally arrived in cable, wis., just a half hour late yesterday. i'm not sure how i got there. mapquest gave me the right directions in the wrong order, but i forged on. my parent's were staying at a lodge, celebrating their 36th anniversary by shooting approximately 15-17 over-par, buying me chicken strips and comparing anemic complexions and our mutually weak versions of the crawl.
this is a city that has never seen a cell phone tower, and if it did it would probably hurl insults and tobacco at it. label it a tourist. i wasn't sure how i was going to find my family, considering i'd accidentally deleted my mom's garbled message that included the name of the resort. not that i could check my messages anyway. ...
i pulled into town, amazed that four county roads and a detour had actually brought me to this place. i was going all yoga with my cellular, trying to improve on zero bars, and walking toward the gas station -- where i was going to ask the attendant to direct me toward something tall and metal.
i noticed something out of the corner of my eye.
a woman standing in the middle of an intersection, arms flailing like a member of the 1969 rochester john marshall dance line.
it was my mom.
"god. mapquest is good," i thought.
SUPER SECRET CODES
we stood in the parking lot of the restaurant trying to get ahold of brother pista. the news about the bridge collapse had come via text message from chuck, during a very brief moment of 2007 technological glory. MPR filled in the details.
my mom's imagination ran wild with images. she struggled for reception. she struggled to get through minneapolis's overloaded phone lines. "he must have left us a message at home," she said, then struggled to understand the complicated process of retrieving messages from a landline's voicemail.
here i jumped in and volunteered to do the grunt work.
"what's your code?" i asked my dad, then the four digits suddenly unearthing themselves from some deep brainal archive. "oh!" i said and rattled off the numbers.
his eyes got wide.
"SHHHHH!" he said, as if i'd just slowly shouted his social security number into a crowd of identity theives.
we stayed up until six a.m. this morning. chuck had given me full access to pieces of his early music history: two boxes of cds. i sat in a chair, separating these disc into piles "essential" and "nonessential."
as the night when on and we consumed more drink, these piles became blurred. i blame the tequila on james taylor landing in essential. and i'm super sorry i put portishead in nonessential.
after reading chuck's post about appetite for destruction, i decided that this breakout cd for guns n roses should be added to the list of things everyone likes. and while we're at it, let's add tank tops to the list. i think these things go hand-in-hand.