LAST DAY IN DETROIT
A EUROPEAN’S ROMANTICISM
I’m stricken by the fact that Detroit is a very black city and yet there are no black people in my Detroit “sample”!
I have only been here for a few days and already the romance – perhaps naively European – that I associate with these Rock ‘n’ Roll and R&B cities, this route to the South, has already taken a toll.
It is in moments like this when I am completely immersed in the experience in certain places that stuff start to make sense beyond the images, as –let’s face it –this misery is tragically photogenic. But when faced with this human disaster, aesthetics become indecent. These settings are no longer quaint. They are just sad.
How will I ignite my “Mojo”, this capacity that to establish human rapport so easily of which I boast loudly and which makes the adrenaline flow in my veins? How do I trigger this charisma that thrusts me in adventure with such ease? Or should I let things just happen, let myself be carried by the flow? “Idleness is the mother of all vices,” as would say the priests, or, was it from my mother?…
Must do something! Loosen-up. That’s it! I have to focus on other things while keeping the project and its constraints – including time – in mind.
My hosts play some old blues tunes for me just as I like it. Many African-Americans have explained to me why it is that–even if they understand the powerful universal expression it contains –they have no nostalgia to return to the place to which this music of theirs takes them back. It would be the vague equivalent of being astonished that Ashanazi Jews do not fancy listening to music that remind them of the Warsaw Ghetto!
In the thrift shop I spotted in his neighbourhood I go pick up a box for the business cards that Eric created for me for the occasion. An old man starts chatting us up and proceeds to show us pictures that he carries around with him every day, pictures of his past glory which I suspect was ephemeral, of when he was in Hollywood.