Summer colds are the worst. There’s always a likelihood they will happen during the loveliest days of the season, meaning you’ll have the poisoned feeling of lying on your bed all day, too weak to do much more than watch “Mad Men” season-one episodes on your iPad, while the sun shines outside and the leaves wave in a gentle breeze.
On the other hand, why the hell not? It was a great season.
And now, as the weekend wanes and the forecast calls for Monday with a chance of Tuesday, I think the corner has been turned. Paid a bunch of bills and took a short, slow bike ride that didn’t reduce me to a puddle of snot, so evidently the rumors are true: These things aren’t fatal.
In the meantime, I love stories like this. A note from my old boss, Richard:
So I’m sitting in the passport office in the Northfield Township Office in Glenview, explaining to the supervisor why I can’t find a passpost I got more than 22 years ago. I mentioned I moved at least a dozen times since then and that it was in a box somewhere. I mentioned Fort Wayne among my moves.
“Fort Wayne?” she asked. “Do you know Nancy Nall?”
“I hired Nancy Nall,” I answered.
“I love her blog,” she responded.
She knew you weren’t feeling well yesterday and even asked about Kate.
In even more coincidental weirdness, it turns out the passport supervisor also worked with Richard’s wife at a cooks’ store in the Chicago suburbs. Her name’s Jill. Hi, Jill! Glad you met Richard. It’s a tiny little world, ain’t it?
A slow weekend, but there were some outings. Kate’s band played at a bar in Hamtramck. I love their neon; I tried to capture Kate outside and failed miserably, although I had a good time blowing this picture up huge and noting all the noir details:
The guy passing by, waving. The car parked at the curb has a Maine license plate The gas station in the background, where a beatdown was happening as we arrived. (Like good urbanites, we ignored it and hurried inside before the gunfire started. As Elmore Leonard once wrote, if it isn’t our business, it’s probably dope business, and dope business isn’t our business. Paraphrasing.) The light on the glass block above the door. The mysterious black spots on the sidewalk — are they petrified gum? How do they survive, year after year? And of course the model closed her eyes.
The neon got blown out because I metered off the street light. One of these days I’ll learn to take a decent picture.
And one of these days I’ll take some shots of the back yard, which is now more or less fully planted and operational. Later this week, maybe.
I also need to get cracking on my book project. Photos might be more common over the summer.
Hopping to bloggage, one thing my malady this weekend allowed for was to finish Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations.” It seems everyone needs to preface their remarks about it by saying “it’s really long,” and it is, but it’s not preposterously so — maybe 15,000 words, and well worth the hour or so it takes to read. His through-line is the story of African Americans in Chicago, and I don’t have much to add to Neil Steinberg’s thoughts, and he didn’t have much to add other than: read the thing. At least we owe this much:
Broach the topic of reparations today and a barrage of questions inevitably follows: Who will be paid? How much will they be paid? Who will pay? But if the practicalities, not the justice, of reparations are the true sticking point, there has for some time been the beginnings of a solution. For the past 25 years, Congressman John Conyers Jr., who represents the Detroit area, has marked every session of Congress by introducing a bill calling for a congressional study of slavery and its lingering effects as well as recommendations for “appropriate remedies.”
A country curious about how reparations might actually work has an easy solution in Conyers’s bill, now called HR 40, the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. We would support this bill, submit the question to study, and then assess the possible solutions. But we are not interested.
I didn’t join in the Maya Angelou mourning last week; I generally don’t get too upset when 86-year-olds leave the world behind. But I was delighted by this video of Dave Chappelle in conversation with her, and you might be, too.
Now off to, as Grantland calls it, fight night in Westeros. Have a good week ahead, all.