Sadaam is back, and so am I. I, however, feel a lot worse than he looks. I’m still trying to kick the last remains of whatever I caught from that flu shot, and a week in Indiana didn’t exactly help me shake it. I got back last night at about 8:00, and found that my phone and DSL service were tits-up, and I didn’t even have a dialtone. I suspected either that Verizon had randomly disconnected my service, or my stupid fucking landlord decided to snip some copper pairs in the basement and sell them on the black market or something. After a week of getting by with my Sidekick, I was looking forward to some real web browsing and email catchup, but no dice.
Verizon got a guy out to the house at about 10:00 thismorning, and he had to go through the usual bullshit shuffle because out landlord doesn’t have a super (which is against the law) and the phone closet was locked. After a few hours, the repair guy got in there and determined the problem was in the CO, and the pair was fine at my place. He phoned it in, and within an hour or so, I had service again.
But the fun part was that I sat on the couch during the whole repair procedure, flipping through channels and watching the zoo of reporters with the latest in Iraq: Sadaam had been captured, and was in US custody. This whole thing is a weird twist, especially since I didn’t think he’d ever be found. Well, part of me thought maybe he’d surface in 20 years in Argentina or something, but I thought it was also even money that he’d be found dead in a ditch and nobody would ever be able to 100% verify his identity, especially the same camp of conspiracy theorists that deny that Hitler’s corpse was ever found. On the other hand, I think that all of the far left anti-war camp deserves a big “I told you so” on this one. But, just as it happened when his sons were found, I doubt they will say much about this, other than “this doesn’t mean the war is over,” etc. I don’t think the violence is over in the area, but it’ll get better.
So about the trip… the whole thing was very subdued, and I didn’t really do a lot, so there is no trip report and there are no photos. I did see all of my family, see both of my sisters’ new houses, and hang out at Ray’s place. Elkhart in general hasn’t really changed much, at least in my view. Some stores are new, and some buildings have been built, but I had an incredible sense of deja vu for most of the trip. So much of the scenery reminded me of my time driving around Elkhart and South Bend in 1990, 1991. I had this incredible nostalgia, this feeling a step above depression but still a strong pull back into the past. I did not like the year of college I spent in that town, but I wished I was still in that timeframe, maybe so I still had the friends, the job, the old favorite restaurants and hangouts to return to. Being there without any of those things made it all seem like a huge daydream to me, and very unsatisfying.
I also had mixed feelings because everyone had houses, new houses with full basements and spare bedrooms and giant kitchens and lots of closets and driveways and garages, and here I am in a tiny one-bedroom apartment overrun with DVDs and books. When I see this, it makes me wish I could settle down into 2000 square feet and a decent mortgage. But there’s no way I’ll find that in New York for under a half a mil, and there’s no way I could move back to Elkhart. If I could keep my current salary, and keep my current DSL connection, and have a house, and find the perfect woman there, I would move back. But those are four things I don’t think will happen in Elkhart.
I read a big chunk of Summer Rain while I was gone and decided that while I still like the book, it would be a waste of time to try to correct or reissue it. I really need to write another new book, and it won’t be some straightforward, sappy, nostalgic thing. It needs to be Rumored to Exist times two. I don’t know beyond that what it will be, though.
Okay, it is almost 6:00 and I have not eaten all day, so either I need to stall a bit, or think about an early dinner…