Living The Creek

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 01, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

           DAY THIRTY-ONE:  Navin tries to sneak out of the bus without waking anyone, but we have none of it and everyone wakes to hug him goodbye, dressed in only underwear, sleep obscuring our eyes and voices.  It's a shower of love and gratitude, and, in the spirit of Dr. Captain Bobby Mango Filigree, it’s so hard to see our friend go, but he must, and he disappears in the morning’s mist to find a train to hop, hobo-style.

            We pull ourselves up and out of it, avoiding too many Naveen references, but the tone is immediately different.  Still, I bust out the theme from Rudy to inspire any who might come in contact with it – it makes me think of the days blasting it in Hiram Warbab’s car in high school – and we meet Ernie on campus for a little tour.  We see Touchdown Jesus, who looks down upon us sinners, locked in his Cubist eternity on the library wall, and we see the hallway where Sean Astin tries to quit when Charles S. Dutton calls him, "…five-foot nothing, a hundred and nothing…"  Rudy inspires yet again; it’s a beautiful school, if rigidly traditional, and walking through, eyeing the courses littering the walls, begging to be taken, I can only close my eyes in anticipation of returning to a life of learning.

            We bid Ernie goodbye from the gothic halls of the food court to find our own cheaper, university-unrelated food, and watch Sportscenter, at least one of us left scratching their blonde hair over the current state of his Dodgers.  Nevertheless, we move on, and head out of Indiana ASAP, through the heavy rain that the state pelts us with in an effort to make us stay, it reaching out with its slimy tentacles thankfully to no avail.

            Again with no plans, no direction, we settle on Ann Arbor for a quick stop before Canada.  I’m keen to see it for collegiate reasons, but the guys go along with it, and after parking in front of a lumber yard, we split up to pay our respective sort of visit.  While The Beard and myself explore a campus that is overwhelmingly beautiful, all stained glass and history – it must be the coolest campus I’ve seen – Tristan, Cornbread and Shmark find a pub offering three-dollar pitchers, and they settle down for an afternoon’s downing.  The Beard and I drop by a trendy retail outlet (which I can’t bring myself to name) to get some sunglasses and spare shirts, then meet up with them at the bar.

            Our bartender greets us, and two things are immediately clear: (1) he loves us, and is enthusiastically conversant in such clothes; (2) Shmark is already waster.  I order a beer and a sandwich and open up conversations with both guys, and where both are great, especially that with Shmark, heartfelt conversation isn’t enough to avoid an impending drinking game, and so we grab a table with the bartender’s permission.

            We’re competing with another table, a group of college students celebrating a birthday, but we’re nevertheless the loudest, most obnoxious group in the bar, as we launch into a heated match of high fives Coin Hockey.  Shmark spills his beer at least eight times, and by the end of the evening, two women have curiously joined in on our game as it fizzles out.  The night ends in front of a burrito shop, as these nights tend to, where we meet some local girls; they’re hilarious and laughing constantly flashing their bright smiles in the night, and after a few hours of repartee, we all hug goodbye and promise never to see one another again.
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