Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Which I Travel to Asheville

The coin flips and I'm back on my head. Staying in Yonton's gorgeous apartment, which can best be appreciated from someone who lived in something like a fallout shelter for the last few months (and was bled dry doing so.) The subdivided house that he lives in is separated from the quiet street by a massive yard, and as you approach the stairway leading to the porch, all noise of the neighborhood melts away and the evening air is dominated by the sound of crickets and breezes. This is the quiet I would crave every day in Seattle, with the unending drown of city, siren, construction, recycling truck, schoolchildren blowing whistles at 8am sharp, Interstate 5 , Grey's Dream Cream truck, and Doug Sumi banging on the door at midnight demanding a drink, all happening at once. (Seattle is the only place in the world where it can be 8am and midnight at the same time and jeee-zus I miss it.)

Asheville was elegant quiet and polished streets, and seemed so very cultured and polite after Boone. Have you ever tried to wrap bacon around a hot dog? It's more trying than it would seem. But it was even more difficult for me to wrap around my mind the idea that I was actually in Asheville after so many long months of scheming and dreaming and leaning (toward the East) and meaning (to go). (That was for you, chef Tim and Chef Scott.)

I am only in Asheville for two days and two nights, during which time I consume many more whiskey sodas than Yonton, on account of his stomach ache. Yonton punks me in the climbing gym on account of his sheer strength, I meet some savory and unsavory characters, we eat sushi, and I write for hours in a devestatingly hip coffee shop next to two men discussing art, religion, and feelings, I am am driven out of the coffee shop and into the gritty Avenue of Lexington when I can no longer endure two men discuss art, religion, and feelings, I visit the Astral warehouse and I find out that Philip has always thought that I was Jewish.

In the evenings we go out to dinner, get some drinks, and then read aloud from Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safron Foer, which leaves us convulsing in hysterics, crying with laughter, unable to speak. The second day I visit Rumbling Bald, a bouldering mecca outside the city (city?) outside the town (really?) outside the hamlet, with three of Yonton's friends. The afternoon is wearing exceptional weather, the problems are interesting and one of the gals is so reminiscent of my very first friend at UW (Ashley, who one day adopted a dog named Kenny, couldn't keep a promise, and has long since drifted out of my life, sadly, because I adore her) that I find myself acting as if she were an old friend. We spend the vast majority of the day lying on on the ground, ignoring the rocks, telling stories. They taught me The Game, which I just lost this very second.

They put up a sweet fight on the way home, to try and get me to stay the night to watch LVM Rock at the famous Asheville Brewery. I want to very much, and I swear the only thing that could have convinced me to get back into the car and speed 60 miles of hairpin turns back to Boone is the prospect of accompanying Will, Charles, Ted, David and Whitney to the Big Booty Band dance party. And that's exactly what I did, and that's when things get interesting.

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