The Memory Man: The Final Chapter

The witching moment is due as the end of my escapades in Michigan reach their conclusion, the moment I’ve been running from for over half a decade but no more. I can’t keep running anymore the end is nigh and finality has drawn upon me….

While we passed the youths Andrea nipped into the Royal Oak branch of Jimmy Johns to visit some old colleagues as she used to work at that branch between semesters. We nipped into a book store and had a browse around and purchased a USA copy of Downbeat which had an interesting article on Sun Ra if I recall correctly, Andrea had sent me a few copies over the past couple of years via the mail and in return had sent her a couple of copies of Jazzwise, a successful UK Jazz Magazine. While we regular conversed over cyber space and occasionally on the phone, there was something nice about receiving handwritten letters off each other. For her birthday that year I had sent her a large(ish) parcel consisting of a Banks’s Brewery T-Shirt and a 6x T-Shirt, a traditional handled pint glass, a English shot glass which I engraved with the legend “Stolen from the Horseshoe Inn” (and just in case there’s someone who wants to try and get me done for stealing a shot glass, I obtained it quite legitimately by asking the then landlord if I could take one), a few little local newspaper leaflets and something else, can’t quite recall what though. I ended up standing around feeling like a lemon while she nipped off to the ladies room once my purchase was completed; I dread to think what people thought. Once I had been rejoined by Andrea she showed me a couple of statues in the park which apparently had upset a few people when they were built because they depicted the people naked…. let’s hope they never put up a replica of Michelangelo’s David up. We stopped off at a shop to buy some hummus for Erica as she loved hummus before we settled down in a Starbuck’s and waited for Andrea’s friend Erin to visit us. Andrea and Erin had been long time friends and Erin was studying in Chicago so was only back for a few days, so this was a very compressed catch up for them. It’s been six years and guess what I can still remember exactly what Erin was wearing. She was wearing lime green tights, an orange skirt and purple jumper…. okay that’s not exactly an ensemble you’re likely to forget. I believe she was an art student…


Once we’d had our coffee’s we returned to the car and headed off to Erica’s place for her birthday celebrations where I was introduced to a the guests who were there including, a guy from Kalamazoo called Vlad and a mutual friend of Andrea’s called Becki whom apparently Andrea’s mum was always trying to set her up Casey. I wonder if she ever succeeded. Well the initial celebration went well but unfortunately things started to turned a tad sour as the sense of humour I’m used to with my then work and social buddies evidently translate with our colonial friends, granted the copious amounts of red wine and beer may have resulted in the nuances being missed a bit but oh dear…. I think Andrea would of accepted that as just different sense of humour but unfortunately to put the rotten cherry on the mud cake I made a pass at her back at the hotel. So as you can guess the next day was uncomfortable, much as I tried to apologize and try to make amends it never happened, so there we go four years of what seemed like a solid friendship gone in the course of a night. I did try and perhaps give her a bit of time and let passions cool and hope we could pick up the broken pieces and fit them together again in some form. Saturday mainly consisted of me sitting around feeling guilty, down and sorry for myself in the Detroit and Chicago airports. The flight home I tried to raise my spirits a little with the wonderfully tongue in cheek audio drama ‘Memory Lane’. I had another listen to one of the CD’s Andrea made for me… some of the song titles such as “Should Have Known Better” seemed highly ironic this time around.

There we go, my adventures in the USA draws to its last ignominious chapter. I did toy with leaving out the ending and just leaving with a ambiguous “we headed off to destiny” but like I said I’m been running too long. Do I miss Andrea? Yes, almost every day. I miss our late night chats about everything and nothing, checking out what albums each of us had bought and the way we’d always support one another if the other was low or bad luck had fallen our way. I doubt Andrea will ever read this but if by some quirk of fate she does, I have this to say “I hope your having a fantastic life and some, if not all, of those ideas and pitches we would talk about have come to fruition. Maybe, one day you will have the heart to forgive me or bury the hatchet. I am fairly sure that you would know how to find me.”

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