Out of the Element

Honda Element, I mean. Because we spent the past few days
funeral-traveling to Muskegon, Mich., and back again, what thin and shaky
rhythms I had drummed up in September are dispersed to the ether. Only a moment
ago, I flipped the wall calendar to October. New game?

Whose funeral? Hard to explain because the English terms for family are
too categorically neat and uncomplicated. Someone who I’d describe as a compadre: the kind of
adoptive kin who generously fold you into their family without any official
record or obligation as such. At 54, after battling lung and brain cancer for
three years, R. finally succumbed to it. No less stinging for the
anticipation of it, however. And because D. was especially close to the
family, it wasn’t a difficult decision to travel.

Coming from CNY, this meant three consecutive days in the Element, each with
eight hours on the road. First, on Friday, we motored to Detroit, unloaded
at my brother’s, and stayed the night. Saturday we left for Muskegon.
Made the drive to the funeral, interment, and luncheon, then hop-scotched across
the middle of the lower peninsula to showcase Is. for all the folks we know.
We were back to Detroit by 1 a.m. on Sunday. Only for a moment was I concerned
about cruising the Walter
P. Reuther
in the early morning hours with NY plates after the Tigers’d
finished thumping the Spendkees. And later Sunday, after sleeping, brunch,
and more visiting at my brother’s, we circled back to Syracuse, speeding across
Ontario for the second time in three days. Everything was fine on the trip
besides sitting in line at the Niagara border for two solid hours. Throughout
the trip, Is. was sweetly zonked when we were rolling (even while quaking over
the moon-crater potholes along I-94) . But crawling along with the border
slow-down tested her, and all of us, mightily.

Anyway, home again. And relieved to be out of the Element.

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