Broken and Wonderful
Posted on January 29, 2011 by erineph
Every couple of years or so, I write a love letter to St. Louis. Not like a real love letter, because that’s trite. But more like a statement, a testament to why I live here, or, more specifically, why I came back. The easy reason is that I was unhappy with a shitty marriage in Southern California, and that’s partly true. But the other reason is that even though, at one point, I couldn’t wait to leave, eventually I realized that the place I felt most at home, the place where I knew the streets and the weather and the dialect in my bones, was here. I knew it every time my plane touched down in St. Louis, every time we drove home from the airport past the total decay of North City, every time I remembered how to interpret the signals at the most convoluted South City intersections without a second thought.
I know it’s uncool to stay where you grew up. I know it’s extremely uncool to stay in the same ZIP code, but fuck you guys, it’s cheap here, and I’m home. Plus we’ve got people like Bob Reuter, one of my favorite people on 88.1, whose photos and music look and sound like St. Louis feels. If you want to come back but you can’t for some reason, watch this 11-minute documentary about Bob, Broken and Wonderful:
(The first several seconds are audio only. Soldier on, you’ll be glad you did.)
My friend Shannon (local activist, running for alderperson of the 20th Ward, all around Better Person Than I Can Ever Be) is friends with Bob. I mean, Bob is my friend on Facebook, but so is that one girl I’m not really friends with but am keeping around because I’m sure that one day I’ll get to witness her complete psychological meltdown. So, you know. I told Shannon that I occasionally see Bob around at cafés and shows and I always want to introduce myself but the lameness of the introduction stops me: “Uhm, we’re friends on Facebook and know the same people? Derrrrrp.” Then she pointed out that if I need an icebreaker, I could always tell him about the time I threatened to kick his ass for getting the pots and pans she offered for free.
Which is a good icebreaker and I’d forgotten all about it, but to be fair, whose ass haven’t I threatened to kick at one point or another?