At Eastern Market Saturday, I saw a familiar face – a downtown homeless guy, temporarily relocated to a higher foot-traffic area.
If I recall correctly, he’s an addict, and he looked even worse than the last time I saw him, pre-pandemic. He’s also fairly young and pretty smart. Once he asked for money from my editor as we walked back from lunch, and my editor, the softest touch in the world, stopped to peel off a couple of bucks for him. He rarely just forks over the cash, however, and as a true journalist, likes to engage in some small talk at the same time. Soon he was offering to help the guy get a state ID so he could apply for jobs, and I ducked into a coffee spot for an espresso while they hashed it out. When I came out, the homeless kid was saying, “…but there’s an opportunity cost for me in that situation, too,” and all I could think was: Kids, don’t do hard drugs.
Tuesday is election day, and I’m working again. Same precinct. This will be my fourth one there, and I think I’m going to ask for a transfer to the absentee counting boards for 2022, where there will at least be constant work, rather than the long stretches of ass-numbing crickets in our sleepy little precinct. The area we serve is pretty poor, hit hard by depopulation, and turnout is generally abysmal, even by Detroit standards. I think we had 35 voters, total, in August.
But I’m doing my part. I got my Covid test, copied my CDC vax card, printed out my assignment, and will be there at 5:45 a.m. ready for 14 hours in a mask. It’s important.
I know the crowd here skews older, but I have to ask: Do any of you watch comic-book movies? I made it through “Black Widow” on the flight home a couple weeks ago, and at the end had the same reaction I have to all the previous ones I’ve tried: Well, that was a movie. They’re so, what’s the word? Boring. The hero’s journey, spiced with several action sequences, ending with the sequel setup. Plus, if you haven’t followed the Marvel franchise through however many films they’ve squeezed out of it, you get the sense you’re missing in-jokes and backstory the producers simply assume you are familiar with. It’s like millions and millions are spent on people who go to various Comic Cons around the country and stand in line for four hours to listen to colloquia on Spider-Man.
Honestly the most interesting part of “Black Widow” was examining Florence Pugh’s remarkable heart-shaped face. Talk about a movie-star mug. Now to see if she can continue to deliver performances.
If I seem a little aimless today, it’s because I just finished a long story and feel like I’m finally caught up with everything I missed during my time away. And I had too much to drink last night – didn’t rip the knob off, just poured two cocktails into an empty stomach – and feel like my best strategy for today is a bike ride and a nap and maybe some TV. So here’s my new favorite picture: Kate and the band at their show Friday night (which we missed). They were Josie and the Pussycats! I love it. See you later this week.