The Oak Street Chronicles tell the stories of my time in Downtown Flint, learning to live and learning to love.

I never thought I would live in the hood.

Yet there I was, dropping my backpack that was stuffed with a few changes of clothes in the middle of an empty room in a house on Oak Street. Well, to be honest, the room wasn’t completely empty. There was also one of those single-person-fold-up-foam-futon-things in the room.  I unpacked my clothes and got settled for the night. It was pretty late and I was exhausted.

I had just come from working the door the local punk rock club, Flint Local 432. I had to wait for the bands to load out their gear before I could head to my new summer home to get some sleep. The last band finally hit the road and I began my journey toward home, just a few blocks across the nearly empty downtown.

While the idea of living in the hood sounded a bit scary at first, the price tag was the factor that sold me on the deal. My housemate was headed off into the wilderness for three months to hike the Appalachian Trail. He needed someone to watch his place while he was gone and I was more than ready to move out of my parent’s house. Living rent-free, walking distance from the Local sounded like a dream come true.

That first night seemed more like a nightmare than the dream I expected. The silence within the house was punctuated with cars creeping down my street and occasional bass thumping that shook the neighborhood. I tossed and turned, wishing I had remembered to bring my boom box and a few CDs to play on repeat through the night. I’ve never done well with silence. My thoughts raced, wondering who I would become in this new setting.

Morning came and I emerged from my futon with a new sense of freedom and excitement. I was uncomfortable being out of my old rhythm of life but I was wide awake. I felt like I was living on the edge of danger and I wanted to survive. More than that, I was ready to live.

The sun was shining on Oak Street and I had some extra cash to spend on records. I headed out the door in search of a new soundtrack for the next chapter in my story.

  1. That green futon thing was disgusting. I can’t believe you slept on that for so long…and then I can’t believe you replace it for a mattress and a sleeping bag on the floor.

    I’m glad we have a real bed now. 🙂

  1. January 2nd, 2011
  2. November 29th, 2011

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