I have friends who have moved…let me count… three or four times in 10 or so years, and honestly, I don’t know how the hell they’ve survived. My brother lived in a small apartment, the heavy stuff was already done by his younger friends, and still, two days of moving his dusty shit from one place to another left me grumpy and wrung out like a worn dishrag. Driving home, I was forced — forced, I say — to put Donna Summer singles on very very loud in my car, just to keep my spirits up for the final push from Toledo to Detroit.
Of course, it would help if he hadn’t lived in one of those hellscape ’70s-era apartment complexes, about a dozen or so units that all look like this:
I mean, every single one. I was trying to find his unit in this ghastly array, talking to my sister on the phone, and said, “I bet even the people who build this shit were depressed afterward.” Of course they weren’t; this was the ’70s, and complexes like these were going up everywhere. The better ones had pools, at least, but this one didn’t. Just these ugly mushroom-capped buildings, garages and… shudder.
But he’s in a better place now, in a better part of town. And I have rested and rehydrated, got some pool time and some non-crap food, and I feel mostly human again.
And I do recommend Donna for slow periods on the road. Especially “Hot Stuff” and any playlist called Disco Forever.
After I got home, I retrieved “Heat 2” from my local library; I had to wait long enough that I’d forgotten I was on the hold list. This is Michael Mann’s novel-as-sequel to his film “Heat,” one of my favorites; one night in France when it was pouring buckets outside, we stayed inside to watch it on Netflix with French subtitles (I thought I might pick up some tips on obscenities). I read the whole 460-page thing in three days, which is to say it’s a page-turner, but oy, it reads like Mann dictated the whole thing into voice memos and left Meg Gardiner, his co-author, to turn it into prose. The action sequences — see, I’m even using film jargon here — are described in the most minute detail, as are the weapons, while the female characters are basically a combination of stock adjectives for hair, skin and body.
However! If you were a fan of the movie, you’ll probably find it worth your while. It’s both a prequel and sequel to the story told in the film, so you get lots of Neil McCauley, Michael Cerrito and Chris Shiherlis, as well as Vincent Hanna. And the female characters are all beautiful, athletic, and move like lionesses. And if you like that stuff, you’ll like this stuff.
Now it’s Monday, and it’s time to get to work. Poached eggs and spinach for breakfast, I’m thinking. I need to start the week like Popeye.