26 September, 2009

My weekend in Asheville

It's way too far to drive from Williamsburg, VA all the way to Brasstown, NC without losing one's mind. So I didn't even try.

I drove down to Asheville on Thursday, to help break up the trip, and to see the amazingly talented Sweetback Sisters play at Jack of the Wood. It sure is something to see a bunch of cutie pie child prodigies all grown up and knocking the honky tonk out of the ballpark. They are just as sultry as they are sure-footed, and it was only my 400+ miles on the road (after being on 2-year old duty for 5 hours) that made me go home to sleep after the second set. Home, of course, being a friend's house: on Thursday night I was lucky enough to be able to crash a Laurie's parents house in Montford (hello, king sized bed all to myself!) and then I was on to Sarah's, and then Lauren's.

My life has been peppered with chance visits to cheap massage joints-- not the happy ending kind, of course, but the student type-- and I had long been meaning to try out the Cosmic Groove, home of the $29 massage. Sarah and I got hopelessly lost last time we tried to go and ended up driving from Brevard all the way into Asheville, missing our appointments, and having sushi instead. It was dang good sushi, but didn't leave my shoulders all nice and warm and loose (but the sake sure did! Ha!) so I waited patiently for my next opportunity. Which was yesterday. So I went. AND IT WAS SUPERLATIVE. The best, best massage I've had in a very long time, if not ever-- and my therapist's name was Jess, which made it somehow all the better. Go see her. She's the jam.

After my massage, though, the weird headache that I've had on and off for a couple weeks now came back intensely strong. It started, like I said, a few weeks ago, but I only felt it when I lowered my head under heart-level, like when bending down to pick something up or leaning forward. The worst clamping down sort of pressure floods into my temples and forehead, instantly, and it feels like it sort of rushes in like liquid. Blood? I can feel my pulse acutely in my temples, but I supposedly have low blood pressure so I don't know. Anyway, it comes and goes, and after the massage it was the worst it's been so far. (My neck and shoulders felt great, though). Fortunately, Sarah was also feeling under the weather and I went over to her new place in West-ish Asheviile to do a long overdue music swap and watch an inspiring documentary and read magazines (me) and nap (her). After that I shook myself off, steeled my head and went to Earth Fare to meet up with Lauren.

There is something so incredibly gratifying in being with your best friend. The conversations that build on all those that have come before; the knowing of someone; the excitement at rediscovering all the little connections and similarities and examining the differences... cheesy alert: it truly feeds my soul. We had a bite at the Earth fare cafe and I did some last minute shopping for vitamins and whatnot (important to do while in the company of someone who gets an employee discount) and then we went to Bookopolis. Oh, so many amazing works of the hand and mind. Seriously, it was both inspiring and humbling and made me all the more excited to get into a book arts class in the next few months. I want to make our wedding book, where people write nice things.. what is that thing called? Guestbook! Ah.

From Bookopolis, we went on to the home of some of Lauren & Evan's friends who have a handbuilt wood fired pizza oven in their backyard. Despite the constant drizzle, we made some weird but satisfying pizzas (tuna with a raw egg cracked on top and spread out, which then was cooked until both the crust and the egg were soft and supple; pear, bacon, and gruyere; and my creation, good old pesto with feta on top). After eating until, at midnight, we were almost uncomfortable, L & E dropped me off at their house to sleep and they went out dancing until the wee hours. I woke up on this auspicious day in my best friend's bed, stumbled out to her covered porch and read home improvement books while the morning rain cooled everything down. When she woke up we made smoothies (apple slices, spirulina, blackberry frozen yogurt, frozen grapes and banana, and a dash of almond butter) and I finally, finally turned my car southwestward.

To Be Continued...

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