Now looking to the events of the next few days in Michigan I had a feeling I may of got my days a bit mixed up but I’m not 100% sure, it essentially regards her brother Casey. I initially recall we picked him up on the Wednesday afternoon as we were going on to Andrea’s Mother’s side of the family for a thanksgiving/Christmas shindig, the logic behind this i will explain later. But I recall having a mid morning talk with him regarding something or other and watching the Avengers on BBC America and him commenting on how it was obvious where films like the matrix got their visual aspects from. I’m fairly certain that when I arrived at Andrea’s on Thanksgiving Day, her mother and her new partner were all ready there. So I’ll start out with meeting Casey and work the rest in as much of a linear pattern as I can remember.
Meeting her Brother Casey
Andrea had talked a lot about her brother Casey over the years we’d been chatting on MSN evidently they were very close, we picked him up from where he lived, which I don’t think was too far from Royal Oak if memory serves me correctly. We pulled up and parked next to a black Cherokee jeep with a flat tire and Andrea introduced me to her brother who was house sharing with a guy called Justin, who was one of Andrea’s former flames. It was a nice little house as what I’d call a starter home go, all what you need to have a comfortable existence. They had a dog, whose tail was bandaged due to an accident, which was quite friendly, I didn’t inquire to the accident as I don’t think I’d want to know. One of the first things Casey and Justin showed me was Jason’s collection of swords, knives and other assorted weaponry; I guess he was getting ready to repel the Canadian invasion or something. Casey was a nice easy going chap with very much the art student vibe about him with his eccentric clothes and hair in a ponytail, he did a lot of art work which he would unveil on Thanksgiving, I am thinking this was Tuesday now as I recall now that Casey was meeting someone so he was staying at Andrea’s new place. He took a lot of his drawings with him as we departed and he talked a little bit about what he did and I talked a little about life in the UK and dazzled him with the British Sense of Humour. I recalled Andrea saying that she was glad she did break-up with Justin when she did as she’d of got injured!
I woke up at a reasonable time, did my usual morning routine and popped across to the McDonalds to get myself a morning coffee leaving Andrea a note saying where I was on the window just in case she arrived while I was out. When I returned to the room I found my note had fallen off the window and I then noticed I had an answer phone message, after attempting to reinvent the wheel figured out how to call her back on the hotel phone. She was running a little late, but no that was no biggie. I listened to the third episode of the Sandman while I waited and wondered why on Earth I didn’t unwrap one of the CDs I’d bought in London and listen to that instead of a drama I’d listened to several times… Actually I can vaguely answer that, the Sandman had just had a follow up released called Dreamtime and I was refreshing myself of the events of the story. Anyway, Andrea arrived and she told me of a rough plan for what the day was going to consist of. First up we went back to Andrea’s for reasons I cannot recall, possibly to drop Casey off at work as we went into town. As usual when I got there Pogo stood about three feet away from me and barked at me considerably, while Carmen was a mad thing jumping up all over the place. While Andrea and Casey were sorting stuff out I kept myself entertained mulling around on the internet and listened to the trailer for the forthcoming release of No Man’s Land, sounded a good play. The writer of it was Martin Day who wrote the excellent Potteresque novel The Sleep of Reason (that’s Dennis not Harry), but oddly I never did get around to buying it. Her brother Casey gave me a quizzical look as he passed by, so I changed to my usual Jazz forum and emailed various friends to say how things were going in Michigan. After this Andrea needed to sort out something or other for University so I flicked on the box and watched the tail-end of an Avenger’s episode called ‘The Fear Merchants’ in which the diabolical mastermind where’s a black business suit, tie and sunglasses which equated in Casey’s Matrix comment. As a trailer for the first series of the revived Doctor Who aired Casey got a little confused as he’d evidently watched some of the David Tennant episodes on Sci-Fi as to why there was someone else playing the Doctor. This surprised me as I didn’t think Doctor Who was that well known in the USA at the time, when inquiring about this he told me of how he used to read Doctor Who comics as a child and was delighted it had been made into a TV show…. I didn’t have the heart to correct him on this subject. Andrea prepared us a light lunch and once this was consumed Andrea and I went off to see her friends Erica and Alaza (i think that was his name) in a town somewhere (i can’t remember the name of the town or exactly what Erica’s boyfriend’s name was, so I’ll call him Mrs Erica from now on. We parked up next to a favourite bar of Andrea and Erica after a bit of shunting when Andrea spotted a parking meter which had an hour left on it; it was a nice little bar I recall with the main annex upstairs. We sat at the window overlooking the turning so we (Andrea) could spot her friends arrive, I ordered a coke and root beer for us and we had a general chat, life , the plan to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras one year, her coming to England etc… It was a nice little chat and we got on very well, little sparks of history coming alive which helped build a fuller picture of our lives for one another, I guess this must be what it is like meeting a long term pen-pal for the first time. We were soon joined by Erica, who like one of the girls on Andrea’s floor couldn’t get enough of my English accent. They were sorting out plans for Friday night which would have been Erica’s 22nd birthday and I did feel a little bit of a gooseberry at that moment. The party was being held at Erica’s house as her family were away and they invited me to join them as it’d be unfair that I’d come all this way to see Andrea and not spend as much time as could with her, in retrospect this wasn’t the best of ideas. So it was agreed I would join Andrea at the party after Andrea pointed out I wasn’t in a town so I couldn’t really go out for the evening and being unfamiliar with the area I might get lost or not be able to get back to the Red Roof. I’m sure I could of sorted it out, but it seemed like a logical thing to do even though I wasn’t a big fan of parties. They departed our company, Erica commenting on how thin I was when she hugged me, leaving Andrea and I to our ruminations, once this was complete we returned to Rochester Hills listening to a blues compilation from the film series Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues… this was volume four in a five CD box set and included Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom by John Lee Hooker, You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had by Muddy Waters, Killing Floor by Howlin’ Wolf, Route 66 by Bob Dylan, Born Under A Bad Sign by Albert King, Hoodoo Man Blues by Junior Wells, Red House By Jimi Hendrix, She Caught The Katy by Taj Mahal, Tell Momma All About it by Etta James and Black Magic Woman by Fleetwood Mac (from when they were good). Next up was a Sting album with a track Andrea praised ever so highly which cleverly starts off as Country sand switches to Gospel as it finishes.