Monday, August 27, 2018

Can I Get a Witness?

Don't get in the ring with a pro without checking your supplies.

After Pru and I began the back and forth on finding a night to get together - with no consensus reached - she looked to me for what we'd do.

P: What did you have in mind? Anything?
K: I hadn't thought it through because why waste the brain cells until you said yes?
P: I wanna know what's on the agenda. Use those brain cells! Stave off Alzheimer's!

I staved by suggesting Movieland, but none of the offerings appealed to her. Her bright idea was the Byrd, but I pointed out that they'd be showing a second run mainstream movie.

P: Don't knock mainstream

So I check and "Ocean's 8" is playing and she wants my thoughts on seeing it. I've got no real interest but I'm gracious enough to say I'll go if she wants me to. After all, I can sit there and judge a movie like that for a couple of hours and call it fun.

She calls me judgey and I remind her that our friendship was founded on a shared love of judging.

Next she suggests the Napoleon exhibit at VMFA, though she's quite sure I've seen it. And she's right, I have, but again, I agree to go if she wants to.

P: There's always dinner and back to your place for chatting and such.
K: Should be a lovely night to sit on my balcony.
P: Yes! I like that! Listening to groovy music.
K: I have groovy music, you can attest to that.
P: I'm a witness. What time? Where shall we go for noshing?
K: I know you don't like to start too early, so how about 6:30?
P: Yea! 6:30 is civilized.

We went back and forth for a bit, trying to decide where to go given our financial restraints and decided to leave that decision for Friday night.

But when she shows up, she's carrying an early Christmas present for me - an adorable black tank/slip hybrid for layering - and a bottle of Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rose. She no longer wants to bother going out to eat, so I put the Brass Ring's "The Disadvantages of You" on the turntable and pour the wine into glasses so we can settle in on the balcony.

Grooviness achieved.

That we're coming off of a humidity-free, unusually temperate August day and my moonflowers are blooming is a huge bonus, but the real story is that we haven't done a girls' night together in months. Of late, our time together involves other people (men and a mother), a drastic change from the first six years of our friendship when it was her and me against the world (or at least judging the rest of the world).

She tells me about her latest DIY projects and I marvel at her craftiness. The manse is better for all the projects she's undertaken in the name of creating a distinctive space to live. She now has an Etsy store and a logo for it. It has been a while since we talked one on one.

As the Rose in the bottle dwindles, we talk about our love lives and living arrangements. About her upcoming trip to the beach and the houseful of friends - moi included - who will be part of the week-long farewell to summer in South Nags Head.

Three hours in, she looks at me and asks if I have any more wine. I don't and she's dismayed. Do I have any alcohol, she wants to know. I disappoint her with my dry household.

"One bottle for a night with Karen?" she asks incredulously. Clearly I am a bad hostess. Fortunately, mere blocks away is Saison Market, a place with shelves and refrigerator cases full of wines so that we can cure my boozeless household state.

Only now I've got to talk her into walking over there. Pru is not a walker, although I'm here to tell you that wine was enough to motivate her on this occasion. We stroll the streets of Jackson Ward on a  Friday night, past the throngs at a fairly loud show at Gallery 5, past the guys sitting on a brick wall smoking cigarettes and talking to passersby.

We score wine, French, natch, because Pru. Once back on the balcony, I crank up the Al Green and pour more wine so we can pick up the conversation exactly where we left off before the wine shortage sent us into crisis mode.

This is what we haven't had in eons: a wide-ranging conversation, personal admissions and a general overview of our lives at this particular moment in time without anyone else around to insert their thoughts. It's glorious.

Conversation only got more personal (read: fascinating) as we sipped our second bottle, but sometime after midnight, I had to pull the plug on it. With plans to go out of town the next morning, I needed to get to bed. She pointed out that I've been known to sit chatting on her porch until well after 1 a.m. That's truth right there.

On the other hand, we'd almost finished that one bottle and I wasn't ready to hear about my lack of wine from the owner of a well-stocked wine jail.

Say goodnight, Pru.

P: Next time I'm bringing at least two bottles.
K: Best guest ever.

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