I was married in Michigan. But aside from 24 hours once spent in Ann Arbor, a late-night drive through on the way to Canada, and a few annual weeks in August and at Christmas in our little tip of the Keweenaw, it’s a state I have little experience with. So when Fresh and I realized we had a glorious few weeks to kill this summer, I started dreaming up a Michigan road trip—inspired in no small part by those commercials from when I was a kid: “Yes, Michigan! The feeling’s forever…”
Yes! Michigan! And we were off.
When I graduated high school, I wanted nothing more than to escape the Midwest. Maybe it was just that eighteen-year-old itch to strike out on your own, far away from family, and see what happened. But maybe it was the cornfields and the summer humidity and the you-betchas that finally got to me. The way that endless expanse of sky over flatlands can suffocate with its infinity, the way the crickets and cicadas drone through hot and sticky nights, the way thunderstorms and blizzards and tornadoes swoop in with little forewarning to mess up the best-laid plans. Or maybe it was the seeming lack of glamour and excitement and culture, the provincialness and naïve sweetness.
While living in Mexico, I joked that speaking Spanish forced me to be far more Zen about life: Since I could only speak in the present tense, I was forced to just live in that present tense.
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