Sunday, August 12, 2012
Carey drove me down and the ride was 12 hours long. The home stretch, we were approaching Wilmington on a straightaway, and in front of us the skies were black and roiling with storm clouds and giant flashes of lightning. We saw a sign for Wilmington 11 miles. We breathed a sigh of relief. An hour later we saw another sign for Wilmington 7 miles. "I feel like you are driving me to the end of the world and dropping me off into the nothingness, like you are sacrificing me to the sea god" I said to her. "The sea god is not a kind god" she answered back.
My first day, my landlord dropped me off at the bike shop by campus, 5 miles away from home, to put air in my tire and buy a new lock because Carey had unfortunately driven home with my keys in her pocket. I had directions home from Dan, and got other directions home from Jim. I had a basic idea of which cardinal direction the river was in, and a vague idea which way the numbered streets went. I got tempted by spanish moss on beautiful white porches, and ended up driving through the rich area, where of course the streets were curvy cause the streets are always curvy in the rich area, and that got me properly lost, but I found my way sort of back and it only took me an hour of the worst drenching sweatiness I had ever experienced.
That night I convinced my friend to drive up and see me, to come for a few days. We found a bar the first night that had 12 million beers on menu, and a calendar of bands on the wall, and a projector screen in their backyard where they showed movies. I met a girl on couch surfing, and we got the name of the best beach in the area to go to.
Next morning he found a very cute hippie diner not far from my house, and we had eggs benedict, strata, french roast. We stopped by Target so I could buy flip flops and a beach blanket. They were sold out of both. A guy at a gas station called my haircut "fetch". Finally, after taking the longest way possible to the beach, I had my first adult swim in the ocean. There was a sandpiper hopping around by our towels. The waves were bright blue and clear and the salt water burned my lips and eyes. I sat at the wave line and pushed my feet into the sand struggling against being pulled back out by the outgoing water. The tide came in, and he had to move our stuff further up the beach, which confused me cause it was the middle of the afternoon and I was convinced tides only came in at morning and evening. He laughed at me.
When we left, I had a pound of sand trapped in my bathing suit, and a sunburn. I saw 5 pelicans flying in formation between beach houses. We drove to a barbecue place his friend had told him about, and I changed out of my suit in the bathroom, leaving piles of sand on the floor, which I swept as best I could into the drain.
I had fried okra for the first time.
Later that night we went to the main comedy open mic in town, and I drank a lot more than I meant to, because there were 21 freaking comics up doing 4 minutes each, which is a really long time to be nervously drinking Jameson and ginger ale. I talked to some of the comics out back, got the phone number of a girl I'd like to hang out with later, wrote down some names to add on twitter, found the North Carolina equivalent of Caroline Contillo.
The next day I spent 30 dollars on a pair of flip flops. Really nice flip flops.
Friday night I stayed home to write. I got very lonely and spent most of my night talking to a drunken prince on chat.
Saturday I woke up and rode my bike downtown in the threatening gloom and alternating sunshine. In the seven blocks between my house and downtown I got holla'ed at by three older black gentlemen in late model classic cars, two of whom were wearing brimmed hats and sunglasses. I wrote at a cute little coffeeshop for a few hours which was playing Decemberists and Neutral Milk Hotel covers. I heard two people talking behind me, and the guy sounded like a total bro, but when I turned around, they were both hipsters, only hipsters with southern drawl, which is confusing. A group of guys in basic training came in and waited for their coffees, talking about the hotel room they had gotten downtown for the weekend. I left my bike locked up and walked down the river front - I'll post those photos later. I stopped in a vintage clothing store and almost bought a dress, but remembered my precarious financial situation until I find a job. Went into a used bookstore and bought a herman hesse book for a dollar, also the collected short stories of isaac bashevis singer for another dollar, and talked about bike routes with the store clerk. Biked back to the neighborhood, and stopped in at the localest bar, where it was just me hanging out with the bartender for the first two hours, and then there was a cover band which arrived with their girlfriends and did talking heads covers. I had my first pickleback, a shot of jameson followed by a chaser of pickle brine. I met another Bridget who lives nearby. I ordered a sandwich delivered to the bar, then biked home in the rain, and spent twenty minutes trying to figure out how to turn on netflix on the big living room tv.
And so here we are. I totally live here now.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 1:17 PM