My move back to Fort Wayne seemed to come abruptly. From Standing Rock I could’ve gone west or east and I chose east. It had been on my mind for a long time and my simple reason was family. The time was ripe.
I live in West Central now. The all day tinkering around the apartment came to an end once the sound of rain from outside leaked in my window. I worked up an appetite for one of those ultra sugary cappuccinos. “Five blocks away,” I thought to myself. I had to take a walk.
When will I ever be a writer? The agony pings my brain like a lover. So I walked. I crossed the playground and I stopped by the fence for some notes. It’s all about my will. Am I willful enough?
Down the sidewalk I was led by some old fixer uppers. Curious about the coloring, I stood inspecting the yellow sidewalk in the yard being constructed and another house lined with scaffolding had me imagining what alterations they were making. I found myself standing to admire the tall church steeple, Lutheran, which stares at me through my living room window a block away.
Writing is an accumulation. It’s additive. I don’t like to be wasteful. I should use every moment and every syllable and I have to be consistent with the tense. There is plenty to see. I’m not sure it’s all exciting to discuss though I give it a go.
Next a guy asked me “help a homeless man get a sandwich?” I had seen him bundled up in a hood a couple blocks behind me when I stopped on the side of the sidewalk to write. No, he didn’t persuade me. It was like a daze I was in, like a tourist. Taking it all in but I’m not in the mood to feel like a sucker. Not now. I know that “sandwich” really means booze and the liquor store is right up ahead.
The cell phone has me pretty hooked, updating art photos, detail scenes of serene urbanna mostly. I could tell myself I’m working. I am an artist.
Fort Wayne was always thriving and seems even more so right now. I’ve been in places less thriving than this and the contrast seems to show. None of this will show up in my photos but it’s what I’m thinking. Many of these businesses have been here most of my life and the others are a welcome addition, well thought out and proudly executed. I feel proud to be a part of it, strangely so.
The baseball stadium and surrounding shopping zone really felt most nice, most cosmopolitan. It’s comforting to see the skyline looming above in the hazy distance. Tonight I’m a tourist taking pictures, walking on air. By the way I never got rained on.
The wet sheen lingered, multiplying my view, the neon scene, while I, in my gym shoes with thick souls and covered in jacketed layers, remained dry and content gliding along with my thoughts like in a bubble. The people I saw on the streets were thick in their various attributes of life, shopping or otherwise killing time, regardless of me in my jive. I noticed every one of them.
In particular I remember a beautiful black family of three who looked straight out of a fashion magazine. We exchanged smiles and pleasant hellos. It was near the street corner at Broadway and Jefferson. They were walking past me to another beautiful downtown church steeple of brick and with a daycare yard. It was a Friday evening around dusk, not a holiday so who knows, perhaps they always dressed so nicely.
My downtown walk had become a confirmation for me: I made the right choice. Enough running toward the new and exhilarating, this would be the period where I explored my roots which starts now.