The City

September 7, 1984:

I disembark at the Greyhound station in Detroit. I’m fourteen and being as I’m unfamiliar with The City I have specific instructions to get a cab straight to Theodore Hughes’ place. “Do not go walking around outside the Greyhound station” I was warned. Not to worry. I’ve heard all about Detroit from James Hughes, I ain’t setting foot outside. Murder capitol of the world!

Before I can even think to look for a payphone some old dude approaches me. “Taxi?” I look back dubiously. This guy looks like an old vagrant and I’m not sure he’s legit. I follow him outside and sure enough there’s his cab parked on the curb. Stupid green checkered cab I think as I put my bag in the back. Doesn’t this guy know taxis are supposed to be yellow? I see attempted bullet holes in the bullet proof glass partition in the cab. Yeah I’m in Detroit.

Jim’s funeral is set for tomorrow but tonight I’m chilling at his dad’s until Jim’s brother Terrance can swing by and pick me up. I don’t know these people so I just sit there watching TV until my ride comes. Some football game is on and it reminds me that Jim and my mom had $5 riding on the Dallas Cowboy game over the weekend. My mom won, the Cowboys defeating the Los Angeles Rams 20-13 but she will never collect on that bet, Jim having walked into traffic later that night. I make a mental note never to bet my mom against the Cowboys (this actually came into play when my mom tried to put money on the Cowboys against me later when I was in my 20s and I quickly refused on the grounds just stated.) I’m looking at the football game but my mind is elsewhere.

Suddenly a news break comes on. A local TV anchor announces “In Detroit today a 13 year old shoots and kills another 13 year old, details at eleven.” “What side of Detroit are we on?” I call out to the kitchen. “The east side” Theodore’s wife answers back, “but don’t worry, all sides of Detroit are bad.”

Well that’s a relief, I think to myself, call me when the 20th century gets here will ya? Sheesh!

Speaking of the 20th century I was actually wearing parachute pants when this transpired. I remember this because it was a godawful cold early September and those breakdancing clothes weren’t made of anything warm. Then Terrance showed up looking like Purple Rain and I get in the car with his girlfriend and her younger sister who is just one grade up from me. AND SHE’S FINE AND SHE FLIRTED WITH ME! AND I NEVER SAW HER AGAIN!!! LIONEL RICHIE WAS SINGING PENNY LOVER IN THE BACKGROUND AND I LIKED THIS CHICK!! WHY CAN’T I FIND HER AGAIN?? IT’S NOT FAIR!! AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!

We now return you to your regularly sheduled program.

11 Responses to “The City”

  1. Phelps says:

    I actually never had any parachute pants until my 20s, but I did have a shitload of those jamz shorts. The real long ones (like cholo pants) with the wild day-glo designs on them.

  2. Mexigogue says:

    You mean the ones they were were wearing in 1986 or 87?? I had those, those were cool!!!

  3. Phelps says:

    Yeah, I started wearing them in the 6th grade, so that would be about right (1986.)

  4. Mexigogue says:

    My daughter cracked up all through The Evil Dead! Then we watched the second one and laughed through that as well. The best part is the fact that the chicks are wearing MSU sweatshirts!!

  5. HMT says:

    Anyone showing up looking like Purple Rain should be applauded.

    then murdered.

    were you wearing the “vans” hat with the tails too?

  6. Phelps says:

    I have The Man With The Screaming Brain on my TiVo, but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. And I’m leaving for Tulsa for a week tonight.

  7. Mexigogue says:

    were you wearing the “vans” hat with the tails too?

    That’s like. . . your opinion man.

  8. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Parachute apnts suck in the cold

  9. Mexigogue says:

    Dyslexia is a btich!

  10. Phelps says:

    It could have been worse. Could have been She Who Shall Not Be Named. (Who ought to be a mental patient but isn’t afaik.)