Monday, July 25, 2011
The reality of the situation is that I've been "in bed" with Cleveland, Ohio since 1977. I was born in sunny Toledo (famous for Tony Packo, the Mud Hens & Katie Holmes), but my family was raised here so when my dad couldn't find work up north, they drove back home to Cleveland.
My grandmother had owned a card shop in the Arcade, my Great Uncle played basked ball with Jesse Owens at the YMCA down town. My other grand father worked at Sly Inc (here's a fun story about them) - my grandmother was terrified of tornadoes because she saw the one in 1953 tear down her street.
The place I practiced at (band practice) was on Waterloo - known better as the location of the torso murders in the 1930 and you can still see the busts of the victims downtown at the police museum. I stood on the field during Browns practice at the old Municipal stadium and sat in the bleacher for Indian's Baseball before Charile Sheen was Wild Thing.
Yup, I've been here for a long time and I've seen a lot of things - like when Steal Yard Commons we really just a steal yard and the flats were still cool.
And now we're breaking up. And now I only talk about the things I hate about this town, because that's what you do when you break up. You talk about the little things at annoyed you so it hurts less. I talk about the apathy or the fact everyone still talks about that terrible basketball player that acted like a child. I talk about lack of police, the unfinished water front, how W. 6th is supposed to be the "cool spot" and how everyone neglects the awesome theater district and amazing museums and orchestra.
I talk about how crappy the music scene is and how bands crap on each other instead of helping each other out and then if someone get signed - holy hell - they're a sell out and no one should show them love.
Yes - I'm digging around the the trashcans of this city to find the junk no one wants to look at so I can make this a little bit easier. But it doesn't work and it doesn't help. I grew up here. It's like that first guy/girl you ever loved. Even when it's over you still kinda love them - or the essence of them. In the up coming years, after we've settled and have integrated into L.A. I'm sure I'll coo over the memories of old C'Town. The frustrating moments will melt away, slipping through the cracks in my life. I'll remember Coventry Road and how we used to hang out there as kids, watching our friends skate and other friends bands play at the Grog Shop. I'll remember Flash Gordons because it was the best club that ever existed and I'm still angry, 20 years later, that they ripped it down.
There are so many memories here - that's what kills me and what I don't want to latch on to because we need to do this move - memories are the past, does that make sense?
If I only sit and look at the good things in this relationship I'll stay out of reverence for the dead. Living for the dead isn't living - its walking like a zombie through life. That's not a life and it's not the life I want for my family either.
It really is a break up, because at the end of any relationship that montage of memories will flood your brain and you will begin to question the whole situation. You will wonder why you've even decided to begin this process at all - they'er still digging you, maybe you're wrong.
but...that voice... that tiny little voice that comes up from your belly and dances on your shoulders as it whispers in your ears, "It's time to go Aryn. There's more out there waiting for you..." and you know and I know... its the right thing to do.
To be honest - yes there are some great qualities to this town but the ones here are meant for someone else now and not me. If you believe in signs my favorite club is gone, my high school and grade school is gone my first mall job - the mall was ripped down, my second big retail job is going out of business (borders), the Discovery channel retail left Cleveland a decade ago... even the Agora has closed it's doors, which is a tragedy all it's own. The only thing this town hasn't done is driven to my house, loaded me into a car and taken me to the airport...
Sweet, sweet Cleveland, our days are numbered, but I'll love you until I die. Never for get that, because I know that I won't.