Michigan Sketch № M-59

Her father had a beard, so he never smelled of aftershave. He rarely drank, so the fragrance of beer or liquor on him was as rare and seasonal as pumpkin or pine. He had quit cigarettes before she was born, and whenever she hugged her uncles, she was glad that her father resembled them only in face and laugh. Her father smelled of asphalt.

It was in his beard. Blackened his fingernails. Clung to the bottoms of the boots her mother made him leave in the garage. When he got home, he sank into a chair like a front wheel into a pothole. 

He would ask her to pull up weather reports because she was faster at finding them. She loved tracking storms. The guesswork. Comparing the green on the screen to the purple clouds. She hated, though, to see her dad look at the radar and growl and stomp off to call his crew. Everyone took the weather so personally.

He would tell her the roads to avoid, the routes to take, the detours to anticipate and plan for. She would be in the car with friends and would tell them to avoid Gratiot. “What’re you talking about? We just hop on Gratiot and take it down.” “You’re not going to want to do that.” “Shut up.” “Okay.” And then “Shit. When did they start working on Gratiot?” “Uhgggg.”

Tomorrow have to give a presentation on Roman Jakobson’s “Linguistics and Poetics,” and guess what two fields I have no background or experience with or understanding of? I’ll give you a hint – they’re linguistics and poetics.

Are these graphics legible, or did I spend too much of my time focused on color selection?

GrouchoMac Novel № 58

Protagonist stands at a crosswalk, waiting for the signal to change. As the protagonist waits, people on both sides of the street cross. There is little traffic. The protagonist stands and waits and reflects on all the times he or she rushed to get somewhere or rushed through something – all to the end of getting to where he or she stands at that very moment and wonders whether or not all the rushing was worth it.

  • Eastern Michigander: A very Midwestern moment -- I filled out a mental health survey and all my answers boiled down to "everything is fine because everything could be worse."
  • Western Michigander: I've been struggling into my entrepreneurship class because I struggle to identify problems. Everything is just too pleasant.
  • Eastern Michigander: We're so Midwestern we should be wearing Big 10 sweatshirts.
  • Western Michigander: We may be on the Lake Michigan Unsalted level.
  • Eastern Michigander: I saw those in a store in Chicago. Made me nauseous.
  • Western Michigander: There's a Shark-Free one, too.