06 September 2019

I was going through my drafts (oh god) a few minutes ago, and I realized I forgot to post this extremely depressing picture of Detroit I took back in February while standing outside the train station there. I had just left my friend Logan and was on my way to Chicago to see my friend Jess, and had not yet boarded the train when I began writing this post. I was sitting inside waiting for the train to get there, and unsure if I would be able to board at all since my driver’s license had expired the week before . . . the same expired license I had used to board an airplane to Detroit and rent a car there, and get into a half dozen bars, for god’s sake! The guy would not print out my ticket for me. He made me feel like a god darn felon for even having the audacity to hand him an expired ID. He said it was at the conductor’s discretion whether or not I made it to Chicago. When the train did arrive, I boarded without anyone checking my ticket, since they usually come around and do that after the train is moving. I sat down by the window and pressed my head against the cold glass. The train was mostly empty. I fell asleep for a while. An hour later, somewhere west of Detroit in dark and dreary Michigan nowhere, the conductor finally appeared in my car and checked everyone’s tickets. I had an e-ticket on my phone. She came by, smiled at me, asked for my ticket, and I held up my phone. She scanned it with a little laser-reader thing, printed out a slip, and tucked it into a metal slot above my row. “All set!” she said, and she walked away. This asshole at the station made it sound like they were going to kick my street urchin ass into a fucking ditch somewhere in the wasteland between Detroit and Chicago.

Anyway: This is Detroit. It is a sad and broken place, though I suppose I saw some things that were pretty OK. And! Logan is real cool, so there’s that. Man, I was real sad when I took this picture because, Jesus, look at this place. But I was mostly sad to have to leave my friend there in the flaming crater of a skeleton city that is at best like three mostly-the-same colors.