I wrote this essay a few years back, as a little bonus for the folks kind enough to have subscribed to my newsletter. A good friend, Chris Salzman, was gracious enough to make something pretty of it, and I’m sharing that with you now. Every word is both true and factual—which is a harder trick than you’d think. It begins like this:
You’ll be invited to your wife’s Full Family Thanksgiving Feast in Michigan
Attending means driving to the hinterlands around the middle knuckles of the Mitten’s middle finger. Shortly before leaving you’ll learn that this Full Family Feast does not, in fact, exist. Instead you’ll be directed to a somewhat lesser Secondary Family Feast in a somewhat less remote part of the hinterlands, at your in-laws’ cottage in a town mostly known for holding an annual ice fishing carnival on a frozen lake.
You’ve witnessed this carnival. You’ve ridden the ferris wheel atop the ice with your wife and young son, a ferris wheel you were told was unique for its age and direction of spin. You learned this from the man operating it, the man who proclaimed that he’d bolted it together himself, a man with something very clearly wrong with one side of his skull.
These are things you do in Michigan. These are the decisions you make by just letting things keep going the way they go in Michigan. …
And goes on from there. You can read it all free online here:
“IN MICHIGAN: A PRIMER, A TRAVELOGUE” by David Erik Nelson