Lefty Parent

|

Circle of equals

Coopster Created Part 5 – The Basement

February 25th, 2018

It was Thursday morning December 13, as I came to consciousness in my bed in what had been my bedroom and was now my mom’s office slash guest room. I woke up from a dream where I was still traveling except I had lost my plane ticket home and did not have the money to buy another one. I was grateful it was only a dream and that I was in fact home. The light through the casement window was more subdued this morning. Yesterday’s sunshine had given way to a more typical gray winter day. My stuffed full backpack was still there leaning against the side of the Herman Miller chest of drawers, like I was still backpacking and just spending a few nights in my host du jour’s guest room. My head was kind of stuffy and achy too, from smoking all that weed yesterday. But I was still glad I had, and looking forward to firing up the joint Clark had “lent” me, at least at some appropriate point on this day. My clock radio indicated it was 10:25, so getting to bed after 2 AM last night it was still a good night’s sleep. I noted that my clock radio had the same sort of electromechanical mechanism of flipping metal slats displaying the appropriate series of numbers – on mine, one to twelve on the hour slats and double zero to fifty-nine on the minutes – as the big boards in the European train stations that I loved to watch and listen to them clickity clack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Clubius Incarnate Part 3 – Basement

February 2nd, 2018

I could hear the rain continue to fall outside, enjoying the quiet sanctuary of the basement. It was a while before my dad came down the basement stairs and returned to his work at his desk. He was in the the opposite quarter of the basement from where I sat on the concrete floor looking at my box of plastic toy soldiers and a second box with trucks, cars and boats in it. I wanted to explore further that scenario I was playing out last night in the bathtub. The pirate ship in the hidden cove shooting at the ships out in the bay, whose captains were trying to figure out what to do to stop the pirates from killing their sailors and sinking their ships.

I examined the two boats in the box amongst the cars and trucks. They weren’t sailing ships but were big enough to put some soldiers on them. But only the two of them were not enough, I needed the boats that I had in the tub upstairs. It hit me that if I went upstairs again my dad might wonder what I was doing up there. This was where talking would be very useful.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Clubius Incarnate Part 2 – Interiors

January 7th, 2018

Our house on 1202 Prescott in Ann Arbor

The next morning I awoke to the windows rattling. The light coming through the windows of my bedroom was different, subdued. I heard many little taps on the window by the head of my bed. It was raining. I loved the rain.

I sprung out of bed and ran to the doorway of my parent’s bedroom. The empty bed, all nicely made, was bigger than mine but the room was the same size. There was just barely room for a little night stand at each side of the bed, and a dresser on the other side of the room. There was no room for a chair like in my room. The rain tap tap tapped on their window looking out into the backyard where the spruce trees on either side of the yard were glittering dark green and swaying in the wind.

I ran into the kitchen to find my mom wearing an apron and sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, looking up at me with pretend surprise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Clubius Incarnate Part 1 – Dubious

December 15th, 2017

My parents when I was three

I didn’t start talking until I was three years old. Prior to that I responded to words and sentences from my mom and dad, as well as others, but rarely uttered more than a word myself. My smiles and frowns, head nods and shakes, plus following verbal instructions, and other nonverbal indicators reassured my parents that developmentally I was on track. My dad said I was just “dubious” about the world. He sensed my shyness and introversion, which he shared. My mom was the opposite, gregarious and an extrovert, and worried more about things, including her mostly silent son. Perhaps to tease her, or to ease her worries, or both, my dad made up a story that I was a noble Roman philosopher reincarnate, skeptical about this modern world I had been born into. “Clubius” he called me, since it rhymed with “dubious” while sounding classically Roman.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Coopster Created Part 4 – Billy & Alice

December 3rd, 2017

It was still Wednesday December 12, but no one really cared. The four of us were in line outside Crisler Arena, my three comrades listening to my stories as I continued to recount my European journey. Though we were already pretty high, Clark produced one of the “jays” from his pocket and we joined many of the other people in line who were engaged in the same concert preparation.

The oval indoor basketball arena, which seated over 12,000 was situated just east of the “Big House” (UofM’s biggest in the county college football stadium). The arena had been built in the mid 1960s, based on a growing interest in the University’s men’s basketball team after Cazzie Russell led that team to three straight Big Ten championships from 1964 to 1966. Several years later the arena was renamed after Herbert “Fritz” Crisler, the retiring Michigan athletic director, who had played a key role in championing the place being built. As my mom and dad explained it to me, he had been a famous and innovative Michigan football coach during the 1940s, whose greatest legacy to the game of football was to invent the concept of having a different set of players play defense and offense, transforming the game into its modern incarnation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Coopster Created Part 3 – Eberwhite Woods

November 17th, 2017

The churchyard from Eberwhite Woods in winter

It was still Wednesday December 12 and I walked through the familiar streets of my home town. There were patches of dirty snow on the ground, in spots shaded from the sun, remnants from a snowfall probably more than a week ago. But the sky was clear and the temperature was above freezing, which was quite a nice day in Ann Arbor terms for this time of year. From Bicycle Jim’s I was walking west on South University through campus with the UGLI and graduate library on my right and the law school across the street on my left. Though this was my home town, I felt like an outsider of sorts on this street in the midst of campus, just a “townee” and not at this point a college student, at least until next fall when I planned to go back to Western in Kalamazoo.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Coopster Created Part 2 – The Blue Front & Bicycle Jim’s

October 22nd, 2017

The Blue Front

It was still Wednesday December 12, a mild winter day in Ann Arbor with the sun shining and the temperature above freezing. I walked along the sidewalk on the north side of Wells street headed west, looking out onto Burns Park and my old elementary school to my left across the street. School was in session for the rest of this week before the two-week winter holiday, and kids were out at recess running and playing with their youthful energy and a hint of that manic intensity that went with being temporarily unleashed from the classroom.

While I was phasing in and out of consciousness in bed this morning, before officially waking up and starting my first day back in the States, I had heard the vocalizing of a large scrum of kids about fifty yards from my window. I knew they must still be playing their large unsupervised soccer game before school. Probably my fondest memory of my school days in fifth and sixth grade at Burns Park Elementary School were those big, pretty much every morning and lunchtime, loosely organized games. They were “anarchic” in the best, informal governance, sense of that word. Run by the assembled group of kids, with no adults in sight, and only a few simple rules. Sixth graders on one team versus fourth and fifth graders on the other. All soccer balls in play at the same time. No official score kept. Between morning and lunchtime games, it was a good forty to sixty minutes of aerobic exercise each school day, and I remember us playing pretty much in any weather conditions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Coopster Created Part 1 – Clubius

October 8th, 2017

It was Wednesday morning December 12, 1973, and I drifted in and out of consciousness. Last night had been my first night home after returning from eleven weeks backpacking through Europe. In one of my drifts in, I looked for my backpack and there it was, loaded up and ready to go like it had been every day for the past eleven weeks, right there by where I was sleeping. In this case with my bell-bottom jeans and Heineken t-shirt draped on top of it. In another drift in, I just stared at the white ceiling and experienced a sense of being in the moment, but nowhere in particular and outside any when of time. In yet another I recalled that I had woken up in England yesterday, though the only evidence that suggested that fact was the full backpack, indicating I had likely been at least somewhere other than here.

I never forget an interior space that I’ve spent any significant time in. I knew this was my bedroom, or at least had been my bedroom, though now it had all the touches of a space that my mom had decked out in her aesthetic and for her needs as an office. She had alerted me last night that she had commandeered my room while I was “overseas” as a much needed office, and though I had now returned she was not inclined to completely surrender it again to be fully mine and not a shared space with her. After all, I was planning to head back to school at “Western”, that is Western Michigan University a hundred miles west in Kalamazoo, this coming fall. Still I was planning to be living here in this house on Martin Place for the next eight and a half months.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Coop Goes to Europe Part 45 – Home

September 24th, 2017

1139-martin-plIt was still Tuesday December 11 and I sat in the front passenger seat of our old Buick Skylark that my mom was driving home from Detroit Metro airport. My brother was in the back seat and my backpack stowed in the trunk. The car was technically mine, given to me by my grandfather, my mom’s dad, but was now our family’s only car. Her “old banger” of a car finally died and was sold for parts for fifty bucks and hauled off by a tow truck. She did not have the money to buy even another used one. She at least, while I was gone, was paying the insurance, the gas, and what little maintenance it got.

It was nighttime already so it was hard to make anything out. I-94 from Detroit to Ann Arbor was familiar to me, having driven into Detroit and back, maybe a dozen times or so in the past few years, mainly to go to the airport or to see a Detroit Tiger baseball game. Particularly when we got near the car plant outside Ypsilanti, all lit up just off the freeway, I knew I was getting into familiar territory and close to home. I felt really tired, my day starting fifteen hours ago after little sleep and since then the four Chivas on the rocks. My mom got a kick out of it when I told her what I had drunk on the plane, commenting that I had become a “sophisticated drinker”, though I did not tell her how much I had drunk.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF

Coop Goes to Europe Part 44 – The Coopster

September 10th, 2017

The Waite Tarot deck Fool card

It was Tuesday morning December 11. I awoke with a start from a hypnogogic state, Kevin calling my name, and it barely felt like I had slept at all. My mind had buzzed late into the night with anticipation, it being my last night after eleven weeks in Europe. It was 6 o’clock and I had a 7:15 AM bus from the downtown Oxford bus station to the London Victoria Coach Station. From there a walk across the street to the BOAC office where I would check my backpack and take another bus to Heathrow for my 11:15 AM flight nonstop to Detroit. Kevin had volunteered to drive me into town.

My last two days had been pretty mellow, just hanging out here at the Clay’s with whoever was home. That is except for a trip to the village pub last night with Kevin, Madge, Bill, and Nana, where they took turns treating me to pints of Watney’s for my final sendoff, each with a toast. Kate was out studying with her friends. Before heading out she had found a moment with me when the others were out of earshot to say goodbye and say that Mackenzie wanted her to pass on a big thank you to “her cousin Spike”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF