I entered the room and felt immediately at home.
Knowing three people before
starting put me at ease. One of them was a theory-head, but that didn't
matter. We had had common experiences in the academic underclass. Another
was the ex-partner of a good friend whom we would see the next day. I didn't
know how to ask her if they were still together. They were not together, as
it turned out. I asked her about him over a sandwich made of fresh
ingredients, including slices of fabulously ripe tomato. Where did such
tomatoes come from in Detroit in early April? Florida, probably, of course.
Before answering me she ordered just what I did. Then she spent most of the
time complaining about racist colleagues who meant well. While she blustered
about her department I thought of you in Marfa, Texas, and about art in an
unlikely place like that. I hoped you would call me from there, but I knew
finding a phone would not be easy, and you don't yet own a cell phone. We
called A-- in Ann Arbor. When we got there, he sat in a chair in a certain
way, a way that made him seem like Trostky in Mexico, receiving visitors
warmly but really too busy with his writing and thinking to entertain
whole-heartedly. Yet his heart is whole. It seemed a fruitful conversation,
though there were only a few points of real congruence. They are both of the
left, but what you can you do when radical languages share so few words.
There were two Mike Golds, not one. At least we implicitly agreed that we
should all order fish at that place. We drove back, wondering about the
future of the left but not talking about that, listening to Detroit Techno,
which we agreed made the highwayscape seem even more horizontal than it