From the personal journal of Dalton Deschain
Thursday, April 13, 1944
Thunder rolls overhead toward Lake Huron for the sixth night in a row. I can see the water outside my window flowing over the curb and drowning the lawn. Someone’s mailbox floats by, riding the current of the tributary that used to be my street. Letters spill out and trail behind it like ducklings, someone’s heartfelt ink melting into the rest of Detroit’s runoff. While I can’t recall ever seeing weather like this in my 22 years of existence, as a native of the city this all has a feeling of familiarity to it. If there’s one seemingly universal rule in Detroit, it’s that we will always see the darkest of days before the sun’s allowed to shine again. We are America’s Sisyphus, doomed to work our asses off pushing that boulder as high as we can get it, before we’re forced to start all over again when it rolls down to the bottom.
As an artist, what I’d love to do is smile smugly and proclaim that this weather is my element, that we creative types thrive on the darkness, that this weather is really just some cosmic metaphor for my very SOUL…but truth be told, I just find it all so exhausting. The gray wears me down, makes me lazy. Whatever creative part of my mind that hasn’t already been burned out over these past few years just shuts right off. I think it’s been a major factor in my strange behavior this last week.
The blackouts have continued. It looks like maybe they weren’t alcohol related after all, although to be safe I think I’ll continue to stay away from the stuff. Strangely enough, ever since they started, I haven’t even really felt any desire for a drink.
Tuesday I drove to a gig in Novi, and the rain was pouring down so hard I could barely see the highway. I remember thinking I should slow down, that I was driving too fast for the weather, and then suddenly the highway lit up like it was on fire, and the sky was suddenly clear, but lit a fiery orange by a distant explosion along the horizon in front of me. There were no other cars on the road except for a windowless van driving directly in front of me, painted solid gold, glittering in the light of the far off blast. After that I don’t remember anything until I arrived at the venue. I’m lucky I made it there alive. If these flashes keep happening, it’s just a matter of time before I get myself hurt. I’ll make a note to see a doctor later this week.
In other news, yesterday was my birthday. I spent most of it in the living room, banging out arias on the piano and singing in my mock opera voice. Later on Bobby came over and we talked about ideas for our band that we’ll never implement, and songs we’ll never write, and musicians we’ll never be able to afford. Like I said, this weather doesn’t bring out the best in me.
Around 2ish my mom called, crying, telling me my cousin Rob had been killed in Romania when his bomber was shot down by the Axis. Rob and I had been close, he was really my best friend when I was a child, despite him being 3 years older than me. But to be honest, when I heard the news, I felt…nothing. I reached deep within myself, but I could not find sadness. The only hint of loss I could find was in a buried memory of him pushing me on a tire swing stretched over the shore of a river up near Lake Leelanau. But this memory seemed…distant. I had trouble holding it in my mind for more than a few seconds at a time. Every time I thought I had it, it was pushed out by that image of the golden van, and the distant explosion, and despite my mother weeping in my ear, all I felt was my pulse quicken with an inexplicable sense of…excitement.
Damn this weather.