Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Lost in Atlanta

I wake up at 8:30 am and there is no coffee in the house. That is how it always starts in this house. First my cousin gets up. Then he gets online. I follow about 10 minutes later and then have a cup of water or something. I might find an English muffin. Cuz will play the Luther Vandross Tribute album followed by me blasting the Brown Sugar soundtrack like Mahalia Jackson vinyl on a Sunday morning following biscuit cutting and frying sausage.

It is cool.

Last night I was stood up by Georgie, or rather he had a problem. Basically, I talked to him about meeting first at 6. Then he said no, he couldn't and would like to meet at 9:45 because he has to get his cousin. I said sure I understand. So I told him I would wait for him outside of the complex at 9:40. So, I did all the things I have not done in a thousand years. I showered (I do do that normally, but I am talking about in the courting sense), put grease in my hair (I do that only when I have to work), brush my hair (I just started doing that last year), found a nice shirt in my suitcase, brushed my teeth, put on clean socks (bachelor habits, I know. I do clean undies, but clean socks sometime miss my field of vision), and splashed on some Cologne (I never do that). I already had shaved and felt pretty dapper. So . . .

I stood outside from 9:40 until 10:00 pm. At 10:00 he called my cellphone to tell me that all of highway 75 was closed and there is no other way to get to my house. He said he was sorry and wanted to postpone. I just thought to myself . . . "No!", but said: "I am sorry, tommorrow is bad. I am spending quality time with my cousin late at night when he gets off work and I am here only until Wednesday. Let's just call it off this time." I don't remember what he said after that because I was cold and hungry and I felt that I had wasted my day in Atlanta waiting for him from 4:00 pm when we talked first to confirm until 10:00 pm.

Ass!

I was locked out!

We did not get a copy of the key made.

Double Ass!

So, I drove around the city after picking up a coffee and eating some fig newton tart like thing because coffeehouses don't serve REAL FOOD (Except Cafe CoCo in Nash Vegas). I went through downtown, which to me is like Nashville but just larger streets, which are more practical for a city. But if you go to a city like Rotterdam you see narrow streets to. There is something to be said about this Southern metropolis thing that is growing up around us. Atlanta, Charleston, Nashville, Raliegh/Durham, etc . . . It is a flavor, but what it will be in 20 years, don't know.

While driving I thought about this obsession we have with making cities better and more livable. Is a city ever finished? Did we ever have the notion of a finished city in the past? And what is more livable? People have talked about this concerning Stuttgart for example. And others have talked about it concerning Cologne and Berlin. France is shipping money out of its Parisian center to other cities such as Lille and Marsielle to make them more economically productive and viable for a particular quality of life. It seems to be never ending. But some believe that the South is red hot now. And I think it is too. But Atlanta is massive, it is Nashville but more consistant and connected.

Then after snapping out of deep thought, I realized I was lost.

Once I got to the Morehouse area I was amazed at the way it resembled parts of Nashville, but it is breathing. Fisk is an old residential area, with bits of ghosts and spirits beckoning at every call, like Morena Street and the beautiful house where Nella Larsen threw herself from a window in a failed suicide attempt. But viable industry? Not really. It is just a neighborhood.

This area around Morehouse I saw of Atlanta (don't know its name), has factories and backeries that spew lush smelling steam in the air, or expell sugary chemical gases that remind you of that pink floor wash you can by in a New York bodega. But it is still the hood.

Well, I just got lost and found my way again. Picked up my cousin at the train station. Bought some dinner. Ate. Talked about the black boys on the internet, and how in Germany my body type (not to mention my colour) was not well represented, therefore very exotic. You know, long legs, short torso, big ass, long arms, etc . . . Now I am in a city full of guys like that, and celebrated very opening on websites. Baby, they are not bashful down here.

Then we went to sleep. It was such a good sleep. Many dreams again. I think getting out of Nashville is triggering some visions in me. Things about the recent past. Things that are unsettled or unresolved. Things for which I feel shame. Things for which I hoped, but never happened. A mourning of sorts, but only in my dreams . . . that can be vivid and scary and wonderful. Last night I dreamt that I was being attacked by field rats. I fought them with my bare hands, but I could not make the two largest ones die. I held one in each hand and tried to crush their windpipes, or tear holes into their chest. I felt their bites and woke up with sore spots, until I realized I had been sleeping on my arm.

Wendy's late at night is not a good thing.

1 comment:

Mr. Blue said...

Lost In Atlanta was definately an interesting approach to considering historic relevance and modern day tourism. The eloquent comparisons to Nashville, Germany, and The Old South evoke nostalgic ancestral emotives and civil rights struggle sentiments. Your experience begs an update Whats next for you, wheres your mindstate, and more state of the state address! Keep Writing I'll keep Reading!