"This is the place I first knew my family, where I learned what the seasons are, where I first felt the cold, the true cold, the cold that makes your nose crinkle and your spit bounce ... I had my first kiss here, fell in love for the first time, and now I'm back because I want to be back and I don't give a damn about how the city has gone down the tubes or its poor prospects for the future. I'm connected here. It's home."
There are other moments like this, about the music of Detroit, the moments that remind us that this city is not dead. It seems that Lasser believes--recognizing the difficulties, even the horrors, of the city, knowing that most of the press over the last forty years about its "renaissance" has been so much PR--that now, when no one appears to be watching, things are indeed changing in Detroit. The city becomes necessary to his characters and to the new life they imagine.
Scott Lasser reads from Say Nice Things About Detroit at Nicola's Books on Monday, July 16.
[Originally published in July, 2012.]