Posts Tagged ‘Windsor’

The Young Americans… In Canada

September 19, 2011

Dion had decided at the age of twenty six that it was time to throw in the towel, lower the flag and wave the white drapeau that signifies giving in or giving up. For women the announcement of marriage to other women sends voices up octaves, accompanied by hand holding, discussions about dresses and registries. For men, especially young men, the news is received, processed and then there is a two second delay where the stone faces of other male comrades, brothers and friends appear to ask why with their eyes. Once Dion’s friends and cousins accepted the news the first important question among men was asked.
“When and where are we having the bachelor party?”
Dion was born in Romania with his other Romanian friends and cousins and wound up of all places in Detroit. Dion grew up to love all things Detroit; American cars, Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons. Dion loved University of Michigan even though he never attended the school. Trumpet playing of all things lead him towards his destiny of finding and falling in love with the minister’s daughter at a Romanian Pentecostal Church in Detroit. It actually was a Missionary Baptist Church for the most part with a black congregation but at noon when the black Baptists were having coffee in the gym, the Romanians would come in and have their service in Romanian and then when the Romanians took the gym, the Koreans took the sanctuary. By the time the Koreans took the gym for their post church fellowship, the church janitor had well earned his day of rest which would have to come on a Monday.
Dion was a band geek in junior high and high school and offered to play trumpet after his mother had prodded him to go back to church and play his trumpet with the organ player during the hymnal periods of the service. It all worked out for Dion. Dion met Dianna, the daughter of the minister of their church who was beautiful and detached at the time Dion met her. Dion gave up drinking, swear, chewing tobacco, visits to casinos, and strip clubs. Dion went to rough parts of Detroit with his girlfriend as inner city missionaries to try and work with teens. Dion liked that idea a lot better than packing up and moving to Angola and so he willingly got together with his girlfriend to spend Friday and Saturday nights playing basketball and talking about the word of god with poor children that cared more about getting a nice car, a nice piece of ass and money in their pockets by any means necessary. Speaking English in a Portuguese speaking country like Angola might have been easier than trying to convince poor inner city black teens in Detroit that leading a clean life, will lead to positive things. Some bought into it and other showed up to the church gym to play basketball and eat coffee cake. After a year or more of this sort of stuff, Dion decided that being with Dianna on a full time basis was his destiny in life and so be posed the question, Dianna cried and accepted. A life of marital bliss was immanent if not terminal for the young couple.
Theo, Dion’s cousin and life long friend, got their inner circle of friends together to do Dion’s last night as a single man the right way. Theo knew that his cousin had played along with the no sex, no drinking, no dancing and no swearing rules of devout Romanian born again types but also knew that his cousin Dion was once quite the partier and cocksman.
“Troy, Tommy, you and me are going to Windsor tonight. I got the Fong Sisters coming to a private suite that I rented on the top floor of Caesar’s Windsor. The Fong Sisters are lesbian and sisters. Totally out of control, dude… Where you can find sisters who are lesbian and would do each other in front of people? That is extra special. I met them at the casino last month in Windsor. I’m telling you, they are smoking hot and will do anything. They originally came from China but live in Ontario now. Beautiful fucking faces, tight asses and huge fake tits on skinny frames. They got a website where you can see them 69ing each other covered in chocolate syrup.” Said Theo.
“I would have been fine going to a strip club around here, getting a few beers and calling it a night,” said Dion.
“Whaddya you like fifty now? Fuck that shit… You are going down but you’re going down in a grand style, bro. Don’t sweat it, it will be mayhem. Fully stocked bar in the limo, fully stocked bar in the suite, room service and the lesbian show… Oh and I paid for the happy ending shower with them both for you.” Said Theo as he high fived Dion.
The foursome drank in the back of the stretch limo and blared music. They opened up the moon roof, stood and yelled like little boys in the tunnel that went under the Detroit River from downtown Detroit to Windsor, Ontario in the country of Canada. Once on the Canadian side of the river, cameras picked up the sight of four young men hanging out of the moon roof up to the waist, singing, yelling and hoisting drinks which spilled onto each other. Constable Williams caught sight of this on his desk monitor while he ate a sandwich he had just purchased on Huron-Church Road at the Tim Horton’s which was on the south side of the street, not to be confused with the Tim Horton’s on Huron-Church on the north side of the street, less than a kilometer away from the Tim Horton’s on the south side of Huron-Church Road.
Yes. Well then, Constable Williams was eating his sandwich and studying the monitor of unruly Americans in a limousine. Pieces of the bread stuck to his bushy moustache. Constable Williams lifted the cup to his tea and doused the tea bag several times before taking a sip. He put the quartet on full screen and followed them all the way up to line three at customs. Constable Williams got on the phone and called for the sniffer dogs to meet him at line three.
The limousine queued up behind several cars. The driver was an older black man that was listening to the Detroit Tigers game in his compartment, not paying attention at all to the frat boy activity going on the other side of his contained area. The boys were mixing drinks and singing when the doors were thrown open. Two German Sheppards accompanied four uniformed men who had just asked the four young men to step out of the vehicle.
“Smart people you are in America, eh?” Asked Constable Williams.
Theo giggled and said, “yes, sir”.
“You young Americans… Just like in the David Bowie song. You boys know that song, eh? So smart in America that they spent millions to send men to the moon just so that they could say that they sent men to the moon and give em a ticker tape parade in New York City… Yes, you Americans are so smart. Only smart men would ride in the tunnel that have hanging signs that could decapitate them as they stick their heads out of an opening in the roof. Smart, young Americans… You smart men have anything you want to declare before we set the dogs to find contraband?”
The four young men all sobered up enough to take Constable Williams seriously. Three out of the four men had nothing worse than chewing tobacco on them. Theo though thought that buying two joints from a guy at work would be the icing on the cake as the Chinese born sisters and lesbians did their thing in front of them. Of course they were going to purchase Cohiba Cigars at the duty free store and take them up to their suite also. Theo had forgotten about the two joints packed in a plastic bag that was in a small pocket on the sleeve of his Hollister sweat shirt. The first German Sheppard found the joints in a matter of three seconds. The dog put its front paws up on Theo’s shoulders as if they were going to slow dance together. Constable Williams held up the discovered bag with two hand rolled joints and smiled.
“We are about to get to know each other very intimately tonight, boys.”

Dion stood up and day dreamed as his soon to be father-in-law conducted the wedding ceremony. To Dianna’s eye, Dion looked to have been crying. She had no idea that her betrothed had been drinking, smoking, detained by Canadian border guards and forced to do a full cavity check, naked in a bare room with a lot of lights. Dion could only think about touching his toes and the Canadian guard flashing a light up his ass as the guard probed around with a gloved index finger in search of further illegal contraband. They boys never made it to the hotel. They were detained at the border until the early hours of the morning and then sent back to the United States without their joints or really good stories to share with their friends. During the ceremony, Dion turned and looked at his best man, Theo with squinty eyes and could only shake his head as he recalled the indignity of his night in Canada. Call it bad luck of the draw or that God truly does work in mysterious ways.

David Bowie- Young American

I got a suite and you got defeat
Ain’t there a man you can say no more?
Ain’t there a pen that will write before they die?
Ain’t you proud that you’ve still got faces?
Ain’t there one damn song that can make me
break down and cry?
All night
I want the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American

Advertisements

The Love Child from Across the Border

February 24, 2010

Back in the sixties it was a curiosity and a novelty for Wade and his friends to cross over from Detroit on the Ambassador Bridge just to hang out and cause trouble in Windsor, Ontario. As a boy, it was hard for Wade to understand that those people across the water were different and belonged to a different country and they had different money and put vinegar and gravy with cheese on their French Fries. It wasn’t until Wade turned sixteen and had a car of his own did he ever cross the border to Canada. When he got there, he was disappointed to find that the differences were so subtle that they were almost undetectable.
In 1966, Wade was supposed to be in high school as a sophomore but quit so that he could work as a mechanics assistant which meant that he patched tires, changed oil and pumped gas. He wore his jet black hair in a pompadour and had cheap tattoos on his arms. He loved Elvis, the United States, John Wayne and the idea of killing Communists for the common good of god fearing, god loving, democratic, and law abiding citizens anywhere. Wade was just waiting until he turned seventeen so that with his parent’s permission, he could enlist to get on the front line of the Vietnam War.
Somewhere across the straits that separate The United States from Canada in Detroit, was a bored young woman who hated her home life and always felt like a frog out of water. I say frog because her family had lived since the days of Napoleon in Quebec and had trekked west so that her father could work for the Ford Motor Company. Her name was Antoinette and her family was a little darker than the others in the neighborhood and they spoke French to one another and attended a Catholic Church between Windsor and Chatham for French refugees from Quebec. It was at a diner that Antoinette met Wade and raced around in his car with him and eventually consummated their amorous feelings for one another and spawned a baby.
Now Wade didn’t want to be a father or a husband and he did his best to take his girlfriend out of Canada to the state of New York where abortions were legal. It was around Toledo that Wade’s engine blew up like a bomb. At first he heard metal banging fast and hard and then there was an explosion and nothing but black smoke. Wade had changed his oil for the trip but had not thread the plug correctly to the oil pan and all the oil had leaked out. A life was created and saved out of negligence.
Antoinette did not want to move to Detroit and Wade really could not see himself living in Windsor although he gave it a try and even went to work with Antoinette’s father for six months at Ford. As soon as Wade turned seventeen, he defected back to Detroit, got his parents to help him enlist and was in Vietnam faster than you could say Lyndon Baines Johnson.
While Wade was hunting ghosts in Southeast Asia, Antoinette was experimenting with psychedelic drugs and music and wound up in Victoria Island while their son Patrick stayed behind in Windsor.
Patrick learned to speak French and play hockey and love the Montreal Canadians even though the Detroit Red Wings were much much closer. It was around the age of fifteen that Patrick began to smoke pot, began drinking, breaking into homes and even robbing people for small cash with some local hooligans whenever they weren’t playing hockey. Patrick’s grandmother wrote a letter to Wade asking for help after almost fifteen years since he had left for Vietnam. Wade thought about it and liked the idea of seeing his son after so many years. If nothing else he wanted to see if the kid actually looked like him or one of his friends who might have popped Antoinette too when he wasn’t around.
Patrick was really opposed to the idea of going to Detroit for a weekend with a stranger, but the threat of pulling hockey from him in the fall forced his hand. When the man who looked like Charles Manson pulled up in an Oldsmobile 442 with the top down, Patrick was actually scared. The man looked mean with intense eyes.
Wade drove across the bridge and pulled over on interstate 75 and got out of the car and opened the passenger side door for Patrick to get out.
“You got a license?”
“No, sir…”
“Well fuck it… Now’s as good a time as any to start driving.”
Patrick gripped the wheel of the fast automobile and tried to look through the spider web looking cracked glass on the windshield. Patrick asked what happened.
“Some fucking punks were throwing rocks from an over pass. If the fucking rock would have cleared the windshield, it would have knocked my fucking head off… Which reminds me, I wanna make a stop up north to get this glass fixed today. Keep driving, I’ll tell you where to go.”
America had always appeared to be the land of opportunity on television and the streets paved with gold and so on. The streets that Patrick was driving down, had grass growing in the cracks of the sidewalks and there were burned down and boarded up homes everywhere. It was dismal and as third world as anything Patrick had seen on television. It was hard to believe that so much blight was possible in the United States and so close to Windsor.
While the windshield was being fixed at the Five Mile Auto Glass, Wade and Patrick walked over to a Coney Island that was still run by an old white man in an all black neighborhood. They ordered some burgers and talked. Both without commenting saw something of themselves in the other such as facial expressions, cheek bone structure and the shapes of their eyes. As they spoke four young men walked into the restaurant and began quietly robbing people from table to table. They would surround people at each table and quietly told them to give whatever money they had or be shot. The quartet reached the booth that Patrick and Wade shared. Patrick’s teeth were chattering while Wade sat without any expression on his face. A cocky young man with a black fist hair pick stuck in his hair and a tooth pick in his mouth sat across from Wade and dipped a fry into some catsup and put it in his mouth.
“Say man… We taken contributions today. You contribute to the cause and we go bout our business,” said the ringleader while eating the French fry.
“Boys let me explain something to you… I went to Vietnam and carried a rifle everyday while walking through a jungle not knowing if the rice farmers I just passed would shoot me in the fucking back. I walked in wet fucking boots, contracted the clap and Malaria just so I could come home and find that you motherfuckers burned up my city. This was my city back when you were just a bunch of tadpoles in your father’s nut bag and now you are going to come in here and extract money from me and all these other people? Do you feel that between your legs? It’s a 357 magnum. Listen to this…”
Wade cocked the hammer back.
“That sound your hearing is the last sound you’ll ever hear before your fucking balls fly through your asshole and splatter your friend’s faces… Now set down all the shit you just took and back the fuck out of here before I decide to shoot you just for fucking sport.”
Patrick couldn’t eat another bite nor drink another sip. He watched the man who was his biological father light a cigarette and talk about cars and women and how he met his mom and how he actually came to be. He mentioned places he had been and cars he had owned and where he wanted to move to. Patrick couldn’t help but think of the innocent people he and his buddies had robbed in front gas stations and banks in Windsor. Patrick wondered if his grandmother had told his father about the break-ins and robberies. Patrick wondered what he would do if he ever tried to rob the wrong guy, a guy like his father.
Wade and Patrick walked the block from the Coney Island to the glass shop to get the car and Wade never worried about being jumped by those that just sought to rob him. They spent the weekend swimming in a small lake up near Waterford, Michigan and then Patrick returned to his life in Windsor as if he had never met Wade. Wade wasn’t very sentimental but he did give his son some advice.
“If you’re horsing around now, use a rubber and if the rubber breaks pray and if it’s too late for that… Make sure you check the oil… I’ll see you kid.”
With that he winked, slipped a hundred dollar bill American in his hand and drove off. Never to be seen again.