A gaggle of pearl-strung republicans are led to the table next to us. "Environmentalism," says the one man to the other man, "is the socialism of the 20th century. Socialism is responsible for the death of 120,000 people. And environmentalism is quickly following suit."
"I do not want to be made to open my eyes at church" says the large, hen-shaped lady in a full body floral dress sitting next to her husband. She rips open a pack of Splenda between fuchsia fingernails. "That is not how I worship."
"Now there's a difference of opinion," says the bony woman in a bright peach sweater set. "I can worship any old way!"
The republican brunchers give their orders. There is a slight debacle as to which ingredients can live on the side of the plate and which must live within the entree. The waitress is furiously taking notes on her pad of paper.
"Lucinda," chirps the hen as the frazzled woman hurries away, "we ought to take this place over. We'd have it running in tip-top shape."
We hover over our tepid coffee and eavesdrop like two min boggled anthropologists. Time crawls along. The republicans are served their meticulous orders. Our straight forward food does not arrive. People around us are enjoying their late lunches as we wait for our breakfast. A long time later, the hostess glides to our table and tells us in a sympathetic tone that our order was never actually placed. She makes a pitying face and offers free mimosas. They are delicious. Sparkly, light. Effective, on such empty stomachs.
But this is not the incredible thing.
What's incredible is that because our breakfast becomes an ultra-marathon, we are about two hours later than we'd planned as we climb to the top of Mount Constitution.
And we are about two hours later than we expected when we drive back to town to get sour cherry pie.
It's past four o'clock and we had planned on being at the room in the rustic lodge we'd reserved for the night. We'd found a killer deal on Living Social and had talked for weeks leading up to it of lying on clean sheets, drinking complimentary wine and working on our projects between jaunts to the hot tub and the fireplace.
Instead, we're still roaming about the little town. The streets are vacant now, the church goers and celebrated mothers have all gone home. The only people walking down main street, which runs parallel to the beach, are Lisa and I and Dave Matthews.
The one time I thought I saw a tornado in close proximity, as Ammen and I were driving across Oklahoma at 1:30am, I started hyperventilating and pulling my hair out. The first time I ran into Dave Matthews in the grocery store, I had a similar reaction. I launched the avocado that was in my hand into a row of wheat thins and ran away.
I do not remain calm in moments of intense excitement.
Thinking you're the only ones in town and running into Dave Mathews is most certainly in exercise in intense excitement.
The second time I saw Dave at the grocery store, I didn't throw any food. I gave him a huge smile and I breathed normally. I don't mean to brag, but I did a pretty decent impersonation of a regular human. And it gets better- Dave and I had started shopping at the same time, so we kept running into each other. By the time we made it to the dairy aisle and I asked the cheese guy which cheese he recommended, Dave actually stuck around and listened to the answer. That night, Dave's children enjoyed a more sophisticated goat cheese because of my inquisition.
I've seen him a few time since around the city. But never like this, marooned on an island, in a town so small and empty that passing him and not saying hello would have been rude.
This was not a complete surprise; we did have a little warning. As we were walking to the pie shop, I noticed three men talking on the corner across the street from us. That guy looks just like Dave Matthews, I thought to myself. He looked so much like Dave Matthews that I did a double take, and then another. The man was walking in my direction, watching me turn my head again and again to look at him. He was smiling a little bit. We made eye contact and I looked away. I knew of course that Dave and his family live in Seattle, but the chances that we'd be on the same tiny island at the same time seemed impossible.
After pie, Lisa and I stopped at the ice cream shop to try their mango ice and as the girl passed over the taster spoon she said, "I just had a celebrity encounter. Dave Matthews was just in here!"
The spoon dropped to the floor as my hand began to shake. Lisa bent over to clean it up and I practically kicked her out of the door. "I saw him!" I said, frantic. "I knew I saw him!" And Lisa said, "You what?! when?!"
In a playful gesture from the universe, Dave was standing right outside the shop and as I dragged Lisa by her hand onto the sidewalk, we walked right into him and the little boy he was carrying, and here we are.
|Don't bug out, I didn't take this one, although this is exactly what whole scene looked like. Creative Commons gets the credit for this.|
"Look at you!" I say to the little boy, as if he's just anybody's little boy. "What a beautiful smile you have!" Dave looks over his shoulder at us. He's got a dark 5 o'clock shadow and those heavy, unmistakable eyebrows. "Take your paci out," he says, "give them the real deal."
The boy unplugs his mouth and grins at us. "How are you two today?" Dave asks. He has a lovely speaking voice.
And we hover for a little bit, talking about the island and the camp there that his girls attend. "We're just vising from Seattle," I tell him and when he says, "Us too," I say, "Oh?" as if I didn't know. There is no discussion that he is Dave Matthews and we are Two Girls Who Recognize Him.
We're walking back to our cars which are parked right next to each other. "Bye," says Dave and I unlock my door. "It was good to see you again." I look at him and laugh. He must have remembered how I stared at him as he crossed the street an hour ago. "You too," I say. "Happy mothers day."
I say "Happy mothers day" because it was easier than saying "Dave! It's me! The girl from the Whole Foods dairy isle in 2003! My sister is a singer you'd love her music here is a CD! I am a writer you'd like my blog here's the url! Oh Dave, let's be friends!"
Everyone who comes in contact with Dave mentions what a normal dude he is. And he is normal- normal and kind. But not dorky normal, like totally regular normal. He's cool normal. He's jazzy. As I walk down to the beach, Dave tells me to enjoy myself. He's clicking the boy into his car seat and I hear him say, "We've got to hang out on the beach more buddy, you and me." And his boy asks, "why?" And Dave says, "why not? That's what I'm asking."
In case you're shaking your head right now, the excitement on my part goes deeper than your run of the mill I saw a celebrity in real life excitement. I've been listening to his music since fourth grade and Under the Table and Dreaming exploded over the radio. I could go into depth about my whole history as a DMB fan but it would sound very similar to everyone else's history as a DMB fan: the X-L Elephant T-shirt I wore in 7th grade that went almost to my knees, Dancer Girl decals on the back bumper, ninth grade sleepovers with Crush playing on repeat, the guy in high school who had his hands on a copy of The Lilly White Sessions and would burn you a copy only if found you worthy.
I remember bouncing on a bed in a motel room with Kelley Ferro: we were in Saratoga Springs, New York after a Dave concert and we could not believe that we were sleeping in the same town as him! Of course, now that I know a little more about touring buses, we probably weren't.
Simply put, I love his music. I love his lyrics, his message, his voice, his lifestyle, his politics, the causes he stands for. I'm happy I had him to listen to in high school, when I needed something every day to level the extraordinaire hormones and roaring excitement and plunging moods I felt. Today, I take a good dose of Celexa. Back then, I had Before These Crowded Streets.
Lis and I decide that running into Dave is a fantastic omen. We run to the lodge and splay out on the bed like teenagers, listening to the Best of What's Around and Warehouse and One Sweet World. Like a fourteen year old, I let myself get completely carried away in the minor keys. All the questions and worries we had brought with us to the island smashed like Nintendo bricks. What's the use of hurrying, huh? What's the use of worrying? We lie there in shameless exuberance, drinking the free wine, feeling for once like the world is easy.
The next morning, we ride the ferry back to the mainland, still buoyant, drinking weak coffee on the sun deck. Feeling much better.
We're very impressed by your skills and experience. You're a very strong candidate for this position. Are you interested in talking further by phone?