You may not see much of me midweek, for lo, I am going to the Rolling Stones concert Monday night here in Detroit.
Don’t ask me why. I don’t know why. No, I do: A friend asked if I’d like to go, and I said sure, why not. At the time, we thought we were buying tickets for a summer 2020 show, and I liked the symmetry: 25 years after the first (and only) time I’d seen the Stones. Five years after Kate’s first (and only) time seeing the Stones, both of us in the days after our respective high-school graduations. I figured it would be the last time (maybe the last time, I don’t know), but why not? Have the Rolling Stones ever disappointed us? Who cares if everyone is old? Isn’t that a triumph in and of itself? Isn’t that worth an evening of my life?
So I’m going to see the Stones with two friends. Kate, flying in from a weekend gig in Seattle, might be there with another friend — depends on whether everything is on time. Our seats won’t be close, but we’ll be under the same roof, and that’s symmetry enough.
But I’ll probably be very tired on Tuesday, fading into Wednesday. You never know.
On to more depressing topics: There’s a missing man in East Lansing, a 19-year-old who disappeared the weekend of the MSU-UM game two weeks ago. Last seen leaving a dorm. He wasn’t a student there, but at another school, in Grand Rapids. Since the last anyone saw or heard from him, his phone hasn’t been used, ditto his credit cards. As you can imagine, his family and friends are devastated, and there are prayer vigils, searches and fundraising for rewards and such. You can’t give up, they say, and I absolutely agree. It’s the not knowing that’s the worst, they say, and I agree with that, too. But I have a feeling I know where he is, and it’s not good. You tell me what your conclusion would be, factoring in that the football game is always a blowout party weekend, that the red dot is the dorm he left to walk back to his car and his phone last pinged on Beal Street:
I think he’s in the river. It’s terrible.
I can’t go further than speculation, because I don’t know the depth of the river there, and how hard it is to get to from the roadbed. But it puts me in mind of the deaths at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse some years back:
Between 1997 and 2006, La Crosse experienced tragedy after tragedy as 8 separate college students were found to have drowned in the Mississippi River. The deaths, contrary to some “serial killer” theories put forth, were determined to be the results of excessive drinking combined with a close physical proximity to Riverside Park, bordering the Mississippi River.
You don’t say. The 2006 victim had a blood-alcohol level of .32. I was thinking of these deaths when I worked on the college-drinking project for Bridge some years back. That year, there had already been three in Michigan – a Chinese freshman, a girl, who died of alcohol poisoning before classes even started (BAC >.40); a kid who thought it would be fun to cross the glass roof on Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor (.20), and fell through; and a weekend visitor to Central Michigan who got lost walking late at night and stumbled into a pond in a garden and drowned (can’t recall his BAC, but he was drunk).
One might think, “But why would he go down to the river? That makes no sense.” But drunks often do things that make no sense. That’s one of the side effects, you drinkers might remember from the last time you were overserved. As I recall from our reporting, the single most dangerous time for college-drinking misadventures is the first semester of freshman year. All of this lines up with the missing 19-year-old here.
Rivers flow, and bodies flow with them. Cold water holds them down for a while, but eventually they get caught on something, stop their downstream progress and, in time, reach the surface. I expect his parents will get him home, soon enough. You always hope for a miracle and who knows, maybe he’s in Florida, having slipped the bonds of civilization’s expectations and lighting out for the territories. But I doubt it.
When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.
On a cheerier note, random French picture, this one sunset at Arles after a long, dreary storm:
I’ll say hi to Mick and Keef for y’all. Back whenever.