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Cheese & Grapes Ep. 1

A photo of me with my poem “God Bless the Union Autoworkers.” The poem is on display at UAW Local 12.

It’s October in Toledo, and we’ve endured four gray days in a row. Drizzle and malaise have settled around us. It’s 9:30 pm on a Thursday night, nearly half-time of Thursday Night Football. I’m out of the good gouda cheese that I like to pair with grapes as a midnight snack. A couple of Babybel mini swiss wheels, stolen from the Wife’s lunch stash, served as a stable substitute, but my coffee has grown cold, and the night has grown stale.

The week started off on good footing. On Sunday, I stopped in on the WAKT 106.1 FM benefit breakfast at my union local, UAW Local 12. WAKT is our local, community not for profit radio station. The breakfast was good, and the cause was just. Finally met union sister, and local artist Tiffany Wilson in person. Friends Miriam Wagoner and Jonie McIntire were there, and Toledo activist Sean Nestor, and local candidate for city council, Dr. Michele Grim, too. The Bears beat the Lions on Sunday afternoon, and the week was kicking ass before it even started.

Then the four day gray haze settled around, and all the sunshine I had stored in my heart started to seep away. On Monday I saw the dentist, and that’ll leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. To recover from the harrowing torture of dental drills, I spent two hours on Monday taking apart and fixing the switch on my record player. I listened to Beggar’s Banquet by the Stones on Monday, and Workingman’s Dead by the Dead on Wednesday, and the vinyl sunshine was just enough to warm a sunless heart.

Yesterday, on Wednesday, I recorded an upcoming podcast episode with some members of the Unite All Workers for Democracy, about the One Member, One Vote referendum upcoming for UAW members. As always, talking with other activists both inspired hope, and made me feel like I should do more, although I already do so much that my recliner has grown desperate in its loneliness.

And now it’s late on Thursday night, and we ain’t see the sun since we can’t remember when. The sun, not wanting to wallow in the gray malaise, dipped south to Florida for an early pre-winter vacation. She’s scheduled to return on Saturday, but we all know how reliable the airlines are right now.

The last crumbs of my late night cheese and grapes are gone, and Hunter S. Tomcat, the family cat, is bitching and biting my ankles, because I don’t want to pet him. He’s immune to the gray. As long as the kitty treat jar is full, and his ears get scratched a few times a day.

Here’s to the weekend. Let’s make it mean something.