In which we learn a few things about the founding of the town, and the feud that lives on to this day.
(N.B.: if you are unfamiliar with Marlow, start with this article.)
“The history?” she asks. “Of Marlow?” MUR-leh. Naturally.
“Yes. I was curious.” I state, settling in at the bar.
I am at The Reckoning, the tavern/restaurant on the main drag in Marlow. It is a Monday night, and the place is dead. I am one of four patrons, and the only chatty one, so the barkeep has no problem spending a little extra time on me.
My wife is a kind soul. She understands that every week or so, I need to get away from things for a few hours. We call it my Off The Grid time. I shut down my phone and go spend a little time alone.
My usual M.O. is to pick a place I’ve never been and drive there without using highways. I like the feel of the road under me, listening to music or podcasts, not speaking, not needing to interact. I’m able to take in the sights along the way and contemplate whatever I’ve got on my mind.
On Being Approximately Yourself
Once every two years, my extended family goes on a vacation together. We rent a big house and share some common spaces. We each take a night of the week to make dinner, and during the day, we all go our separate ways to go do things.
My wife and I were still engaged during the trip two years ago, and in the intervening time, we’ve had a wedding, a honeymoon, and several trips on our own to hone the way we like to travel together. Our modus operandi is:
You work with people.
You work with people, and people have feelings. No matter how inconvenient it is for you, you have to acknowledge those emotions and address them. Rational decisions aren’t possible until the irrational feelings have passed.
You work with people, and people like to understand what is happening to them. It is in your best interest to discuss things with them honestly. And if you cannot tell the whole story due to certain restrictions, make sure to say that.
You work with people, and while it is not your job to make them happy, it is your…
I collect coffee shops. I’ve been in love with the space and the community that coffee shops inspire since 1989 when I stepped through the doors of Arabica on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, OH. The smell of the beans, the people who gathered, the good conversations, and the general convivial tone were a stark contrast to the town I grew up in, where the best you could hope for was to meet friends behind the McDonald’s. Later, I worked in a few shops and loved every moment of it. …
You start off single. You meet someone, and you lose touch with your single friends and become closer with your coupled friends. You marry, and in that you cross another threshold: you lose touch with your coupled friends and you become closer with your married friends. Having kids has the same effect: is it easier to be friends with those people who have kids.
When you divorce, all your friends are there for you and you lean on them. Time heals things; soon you are able to stand on your own. You try to relate to those…
It started as individual voices in the wilderness. We bonded around our interests. We used the technology to communicate across the real distance between us, to generate ideas, to push our needs forward. We blogged and we podcasted and we encouraged one another. We were misfits that found our community, our tribe, our people.
Eventually the businesses noticed. They began using us to market to ourselves. The goal of marketing is to create a need, and in this, the marketers barely had to do anything at all. We were all so very needy. We needed to be Liked. We…
The ice cream shop is gone. This is the second thing I notice about how the city has changed since leaving it. Scooters, the homemade ice cream store run by the older couple with all the Euclid Beach Park memorabilia has gone the way of Euclid Beach itself; the space replaced with something newer.
The new paves over the old.
Some places are still there. I make a note to stop at the Arabica coffeehouse and grab a mocha before leaving the area; I have fond memories of sitting in that place and working on backend code for my previous…
“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.” -Roger Zelazny
When I moved into the first house I owned, I had forty boxes of books. When I moved to Los Angeles, necessity forced me to trim that number to twenty boxes. Moving back to Cleveland, I cut it to twelve. When I moved to where I am now, I cut it back to nine.
Writer. Explorer. Wizard. Has not yet been eaten by a grue.