So, this afternoon, a couple of us played hooky from work and went to see Jackie Greene perform. He’s this wee slip of a kid who sings and plays guitar. He’s very good. And he played at this awesome cafe that looks like it might have been an old drug store or something at one point. It’s got a bar as you walk in and then tall cabinets with glass display counters on the floor.
My least favorite thing about anonymous small city in a much-maligned part of the country is that there’s enough pre-1865 crap around to make you wonder why they complained so much about being occupied (kidding!) and more than enough post-1945 crap around to make you sick. But we’re missing about 60 years worth of interesting architecture.
This place, though, feels and smells old and like the kind of place I’d want to live near if I didn’t live at the end of a street populated by strange, yet charming folks, and could afford the overpriced priviledge of living in one of the city’s hip neighborhoods.
When the Divine Ms. B used to live in Memphis, it was my favorite thing to go visit her. She lived in a big old house from the era missing from my city with ten or twelve other artists and actors. These were the kind of folks who seemed like they’d done everythingimagnable two or three times.
I, on the other hand, do things I’ve done a million times so awkwardly you’d think I’d just learned how to operate my body yesterday.
So, after we’d spent an evening drinking and carousing and such, we all stumble off to bed. Being it’s my first night in a strange place, I’m kind of only half sleeping, half listening for crazed intruders, or whatever. Late in the night, I feel a hand on my butt. Pat, pat. I lay there very still, trying to imagine why someone would be patting my butt.
Of course, I drew the only logical conclusion: everyone in the house must switch partners at some point in the night, and now I was being summoned to head on down the hall.
I shut my eyes as tight as I could and tried to think of how I could politely explain to Ms. B’s friends and housemates that, as much as I liked them, I could not up and take on a total stranger at three in the morning.
Pat, pat again.
Now, I was in big trouble. They were being persistant. But also, I was secretly flattered. Maybe someone in the house has specifically requested me.
Pat, pat, one last time. Well, damn it. A girl’s got to take on an adventure now and then, so I sit up, still not sure if I’m going to switch rooms or not and there, at the end of the bed, is Ms. B’s cat, who had, all this time, been the one patting my ass.
Where was I going with this? I’m not sure. Anyway, I wish I still knew folks in Memphis and I wish I could go there often and hang out in old buildings.