Asheville decided to skip spring and go straight to summer it seems. It's freaking hot. Oh how I love summer-ish evenings though. The sun stays out til nearly 9, the breeze relieves us from the heat and so does a nice, cold brewskie. Nothing like the feeling of carbonation from a delicious beer tickling your tongue on a warm night. Ha, I'm drinking a PBR in the picture below...far from delicious, but cheap! Soon I'll be able to afford local $4 pints again, because I scored a job as a barista at an awesome local bakery/cafe. It's going incredibly well thus far.
Last night I went out on the town with Caleb and my long lost friend Rachel. We reunited recently, I actually was the long lost one. My last semester in collge was painstaking and ever since I just haven't been super social. I'm trying to get back to my gregarious roots and have fun with wonderful folks. I guess we all do a little hibernating during the winter months. Caleb and I walked to one of our favorite little restaurant joints, it's called Todd's Tasties. We both order the same thing almost every time, "The Spin," it's a plain bagel toasted with an over easy egg (actually over medium, I'm the messiest eater in the world and last time I ate the spin I had egg yolk dripping down my face and all over a scarf I was wearing, so now I say over-medium, seems to work out better, I think I need a bib), goat cheese (or chevre if you're feeling fancy) spinach and salt & pepper. It is sooo delicious. Rachel met us there. She's trying to be a vegan. I've done that before but soy anything gives me god awful gas and I can't be in public without causing offense to the noses of those within a quarter mile range of me. I'm pretty much a vegetarian but I eat fish occasionally and various fowl on holidays (well and honey baked ham sometimes, but i lovvvve pigs, so let's pretend I didn't admit that, plus it makes me so sick, but it's totally worth it once a year). Rachel doesnt eat eggs or dairy or meat or anything that has any of those ingredients in it. She got a salad with no dressing, looked real boring.
We decided we all wanted some dessert...actually I wanted dessert and I'm super assertive when I have a sweet tooth going on. So we walked to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. It's this adorable place downtown where I go to pretend I'm Parisian. We got some slices of cake and took them to my favorite bar "The Prospect." It's this little dive on the outskirts of downtown. It's a stand-alone concrete, rectangular building that's been painted dark green and actually looks pretty cool in a run-down industrial, slightly seedy kind of way. They have a great jukebox and an awesome patio which includes a bocce court.
I only get competitive about two things in life: Scrabble and bocce. I make fun of Caleb sooo hard when he has a bad throw in bocce, and I'm such a sooorrre loser. omg. oh and when I win it's worse, I start doing a victory dance and yell boo ya! a bunch. good god. I wonder if that's how wall street stock brokers behave at work.
Rachel had never been to The Prospect, not a ton of people know about it (ha that sounds so elitist). It's a bit of a sketchy walk from the chocolate lounge to the Prospect. We moved away from the main part of town where all the tall buildings are and ended up taking short cuts through the run down gravel parking lots of dilapidated buildings, where it's easy to find shattered glass from forty ounce bottles of cheap malt beer (sorry if I just got sublime's "40 ounces to freedom" stuck in your head)and cigarette butts and whatnot.
Rachel got pretty sketched out on the walk. I kept saying "don't worry Rachel! we're almost there" and somehow we just kept not getting there, it was a longer walk than I remembered, plus Caleb and I usually power walk everywhere. She started to get a little scared...saying stuff like "where are you guys taking me?" I made silly jokes, like "oh crap! I forgot my knife!" That probably didn't help. I think she started having irrational fears that maybe me and Caleb weren't trustworthy people, that maybe we were going to kill her or something. Obviously she knew that wasn't the case, but we're animals, our survival is the # one priority of our id, (well and reproduction, but that's a sort of survival in itself I think). She seemed to start letting her id take over, she was starting to look out for herself, starting to get pretty concerned. I found it really interesting. Our brains can make us think crazy things when we sense danger. It was as if she was thinking "The Prospect" didn't even exist at all. Then I tried to think of a place close to it so she'd be able to get a sense of the bar's location. So I said "It's like a block down from Dirty Dick's". Ugh, I always call it that by accident. It's the brewery for a really popular Irish/ Bluegrassy pub downtown called Jack of the Wood. People nicknamed the brewery "Dirty Jack's" It's a bar too, but it's kind of like "Jack of the Wood II" and it's a lot smaller than the main bar. Luckily she knew of it and felt more comfortable, and me calling it "Dirty Dick's" by accident was actually the perfect comical relief she needed. Caleb didn't let that one go for a bit. ha.
Well we finally got there, played a few rounds of bocce, and had some drinks. I know the owners fairly well. They're youngish, crazy smart folks, Phil and Ryan (pronounced Rye-Ann). Ryan is this beautiful, bright woman. She's tough, probably the toughest girl I know. She doesnt't put up with anything. She cussed at this dude one time for not bringing enough money to tip. ha. Phil is much more mellow, they're really perfect business partners. Ryan used to kind of act like she had an issue with me, she never really seemed to be particularly fond of me. Tough people don't allow themselvs to warm up to people quickly, they're weary and supsicious until you can show them a good reason why they shouldn't be. She was suspicious of my character for a long while. Slowly she began to like me and even calls me "hun" sometimes I think. She called me "Em" last night (the first syllable of my name, guess that makes it pretty darn obvious what my name is. Much to her chagrin now, my mom gave me what came to be the most popular girls name in the country. When I was growing up and someone would yell out my name, I'd never turn my head to look b/c I was kind of nerdy, and so I just assumed anyone calling out my name was attempting to get someone else's attention who shared the same name as myself, like a cheerleader or a ballerina or a soccer player). Ryan made me feel all warm inside, by using my pet name, it was like the cool girl in class wanted to be my friend or something. She knows the details of what happened to me at my laundry job because I had to take a call from the Sheriff's department a few weeks ago while I was at the bar, they were calling me back so I could report the incident I was involved in. She felt really bad for me and I knew from her eye contact that she knew just how much it had affected me. She was ecstaticcc when I told her last night that I got the barista job. When I went to close my tab we chatted about my new job casually. I think she sees me as a somewhat passive and deeply insecure human being. Strong people dont like pawns and always know when you're emotionally vulnerable. I think the fact that I handled the situation I was in at the nursing home like an adult, like a strong female, impressed her. She touched the back of my hand with the pads of her fingers as I picked up a copy of my receipt and made really good eye contact with me and said "Take care, Em." I felt high as I walked down the sidewalk to head home with Caleb and Rachel. I just kept saying to them over and over "I can still feel her fingers on my hand! Ryan likes me!" I do feel weak most of the time, dibilitatingly insecure ALL of the time. The smart, cool punk girl with tattoos who only smiles when she means it...she doesn't hate me. haha I sound like I have a crush on her...I just want to be more like her that's all. Confident in who I am and what I have to offer the world around me.
This post totally shows just how 22 I am...well 23 in May. That's okay. I'm trying to work on this whole authenticity/ happy-with-who-I-am thing, it ain't easy. I shouldn't feel bad for being the age that I am I s'pose. Once I grow up I'll just be that much closer to that thing in life that happens to us all, when the heart slows it's self down to an eternal stopping point, and what lies next is ultimately a mystery. I've felt alive here lately. Really, Really alive.