Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reunions and Thinking Places

I find it easier to deal with all the crazy things happening in my life if I stay busy so that is what I've tried to do lately. For the first month I was back in Charleston I did nothing except sit around and think. I didn't really have any money so I stayed in the house and I do believe it sucked all of the energy out of me. Normally I would have driven to my favorite spots to contemplate life but couldn't afford the gas! Things are changing and this weekend was full of good things.

Last week I received an even invitation on Facebook from someone who attended my high school. They planned a high school get together of all the classes at a local sports bar. Normally sports bars are not my sort of thing but being that Annabelle and I are the class reunion organizers we were curious about it and decided to go, along with Samantha. We started the evening off by going to Carolina Crust Gourmet Pizza, which Annabelle suggested.

When we walked in the place was filled with kids running around and a very loud not-so-good musician. Samantha and I just looked at each other. Annabelle wasn't with us initially because she had to drop something off at her sisters house or else I probably would have suggested eating someplace else. I asked the hostess if this was kids night and she just looked at me funny. I asked if we could be seated as far away from the commotion as possible and she walked us to the back of the restaurant and told us to pick from the couple of two-seater tables. I reminded her that we had three people with us and she said that there was a party of five ahead of us and we couldn't have that table. She obviously did not notice that my friends carry purses that are bigger than their own bodies and that the three of us, plus purses would not fit at a two person table! After Samantha and I stared at each other in disbelief a bit longer the hostess finally agreed to let us have the bigger table (the table of five never sat at all!) Unfortunately, the dining experience really didn't improve much.

Carolina Crust says it's supposed to gourmet pizza, but really... not so much. It's not even worth writing about - just trust me in case you are in town - the pizza was mediocre at best! The singer was loud and totally lost me when he sang "Angel From Montgomery". He did his own dramatic interpretation of the word "Montgomery" by adding extra syllables to it. It was so bad that Samantha and I sat there and tried to figure out what song it was for the longest. We knew we heard it before but just couldn't put our finger on it! We ate as fast as we could, talked about poop and the art of pooping the entire time and then headed to Bucca's for the party.

When we got to Bucca's we argued about who was going to walk in first. I told Annabelle to go in and then she said that I should since people recognize me. Um, I don't think so! I ended up walking in first anyway and then headed straight to the bar. That's my defense mode when I'm in an uncomfortable situation. The rule is to get a drink and while you wait for the drink you have a chance to take in the atmosphere and see who is there and what is happening around you. We did just that. The three of us looked around at all of the people who have aged 20+ years since we've seen them. How were we supposed to recognize anyone? I didn't have my glasses on so I was no help at all with reading name tags (which we refused to wear!) I told Annabelle and Samantha that we should go to the other side of the bar to get a look at that crowd.

When we walked to the other side I finally saw someone I knew... Sarah, a former cheerleader. She was actually one of the three people that I was looking forward to seeing again. They graduated a year ahead of me so I have not seen them in 21 years! When I saw Sarah she pointed out Cindy who I waved to. Unfortunately she was sitting behind a table so there was no way I could have gotten to her so I decided to wait to talk to her. We continued to hang out and stare at people and nonchalantly point to people and say "That's so-and-so" but not talk to them... well, most of them, anyway. There was only one person from our class that we saw, which I thought was strange.

We hung out with Cyril for a while who managed to take the only photo of us from that night:

Being that we hardly knew anyone we only stayed for a couple of hours. I wasn't ready to call it a night yet so I texted Teresa to see if she was still at the club. I tried to get Samantha to go to Patrick's with me but she wasn't really interested in seeing drag queens, I suppose. I dropped her off at her car and then drove to West Ashley to watch Venus do an entire show of Pink songs which seemed incredibly exhausting. I enjoy watching the drag shows but Patrick's makes me kind of sad. First of all, there's nothing but baby-dykes there. All of these girls are in their early twenties, which is mildly depressing. When did I get so old? And then they have annoying DJ's who play bad music. The sound system isn't that great so there really is no dancing to be had... except for line dancing, which I had no idea people still did!

On Saturday afternoon Teresa and I had plans to go out. Since she is apparently infamous for not being able to choose activities I gave her a list of things I was interested in doing since I coming back to town. I asked her to choose and she managed to narrow it down to one thing... going to the Morris Island Lighthouse on Folly Beach.

Have you ever been to a place where you felt a connection so deep that you can't explain it properly to other people because you are not really sure of the reason yourself? There are a few places like that on Earth for me and no matter how many times I go, I will never tire of them... Morris Island Lighthouse is one of those places. I remember the first time I saw the lighthouse. I was there with a boyfriend doing our nightly walk on the beach with a bottle of wine. We normally went to Station 22 at Sullivan's Island, but one night he suggested Folly Beach. I had no idea there was a lighthouse there and when I first saw it I couldn't stop staring. It looked so haunting sitting out there in the middle of the water. I remember that I couldn't wait to see it in the daylight and I actually went back there the next afternoon.

Since that night I have been to Morris Island many, many times. Mostly by myself when I need to think and sometimes with other to show them my special place. Back in the day it used to be so private and secluded, but now that it's been in the news regarding the restoration, a performance art subject during The Spoleto Festival as well as on many license plates, postcards and bumper stickers everyone and their mother knows about my private spot! These days when you go to the lighthouse there is usually several others there as well.

My thinking place!

When we were walking the quarter mile up the path to the beach I felt a sting on my foot. I didn't even take time to look at it because it hurt so bad. I swatted whatever it was off and kept walking. As time passed I felt the poison of the bite going through my foot but I tried hard to ignore it. It seems if someone gets bit by an insect it's usually me! When we got down to the beach we sat on the fire pit square for a bit to take some pictures. I looked down at my foot and the entire thing was red and swollen except for a couple of inches that were pure white. I looked at Teresa and said "Oh my God! Look at my foot!" and Teresa proceeded to turn to me, held out her camera and said "Does this picture look blurry?"


Here I was with some rare undiscovered insect venom traveling through my foot... they were probably going to have to carry me off the beach after I succumbed to seizures and passed out and she was worried about if her picture was blurry! I told her that yes, it was blurry!

Over the next couple of hours I tried hard not to concentrate on my foot and only on spending time with Teresa. It was a gorgeous day and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Per Teresa's suggestion I soaked my foot in the cold salt water and it actually made it feel better. I tried to get her to pee on my swollen poison-filled foot - knowing that this helps in cases of jelly fish stings - but she laughed and adamantly protested. I mean, really. I WAS STUNG by something and the pain WAS really bad! Hmmm. I see how it is!

We spent the day walking around taking photos and looking for shells. Teresa was looking for sharks teeth but decided after a couple of hours that sharks didn't come to this particular beach to hang out, which I thought was amusing. We sat and talked and it was just really nice because I enjoy her company so much.

The perfect view.

It's amazing how a day in the sun will make you so tired so fast! We walked back to the car and headed home with our farmers tans and memories of a perfectly good day.

Well, I did at least :)

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