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F-F-F-F-Flint Town   —   Kid Stuff

Autumn brings out the cook in me, and although she's small, she's not half bad.

I made chili last night, from scratch. Well, it was loosely based off of the way my mother makes chili, but then again all of my cooking is loosely based off the way my mother makes things. Except for her fudge, she makes the best fudge, I definitely don't fuck with the fudge.

So last night was my first ever attempt at making chili and I must say that it turned out mighty tasty. It's very relaxing, cooking in the fall. The stove was radiating heat while the open kitchen window trickled in a cool breeze, which brought with it the various smells coming from other kitchens in the neighborhood. Commodore was spread out on the cabinets above the stove soaking up the heat and the smell of the simmering chili while Tsunami sprawled out on the kitchen table, his whiskers twitching while he slept. The kitchen was so warm and homey that I decided to plant myself at the kitchen table with a book while the chili stewed in its own juices for a good hour.

As my Michigan-inspired chili was ready to be served I thought perhaps it appropriate to eat my homemade chili while watching a documentary on my hometown, Roger and Me. Although born and raised in Flint, Michigan I had never had any interest in watching Roger and Me. I was living in the shit hole, why watch it on television, right?

But after being away from Flint for so long I've started to miss it.

Eating chili and drinking beer while watching Roger and Me was somehow so appropriate it couldn't be passed up. The documentary made me long for my childhood and the Saturday mornings my mother and I would go shopping in the nearly deserted strip-malls, the sun warm on my lap in the front seat of our Chevrolet Blazer, stopping off at the Halo-Burger that was in the parking lot of Value City, for lunch, in what used to be a nice part of town but was rapidly turning into a dilapidated shit hole. The documentary made me realize with a surprising impact how fortunate my family was for my father being one of the lucky ones that wasn't laid off by GM. It didn't really occur to me when I was six years old, and by the time I was old enough to understand what was happening to my hometown, the economy picked up and Flint was standing itself up again and brushing off the dirt.

Despite its upturn Flint never really lost part of that abandoned crap-hole feel to it. Maybe that's why, to this day, I love the feeling and look of industrial parts of neighborhoods, it just reminds me of home.

By the end of the night I had a belly full of chili, a bit of a buzz from the beer, and the realization that I really miss Flint, Michigan.

Something I never thought I'd say.

Posted 9.25.2003

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