6.20.2010

the only catch is murder and other poems

TOUR DIARY PART 3

Richmond is a beautiful city. They seem incapable of building a house that isn't beautiful or doesn't have a balcony. We hung out with Tim and Stephanie, friends of Josh. They took us to The Black Sheep, which marks Richmond as the third city I've been in to have a cool restaurant called The Black Sheep.  I ate a pulled pork sandwich with apple coleslaw, and I also ate some deviled eggs. There is a pyramid in the Richmond cemetery under which eighteen thousand people are buried. Tim/Stephanie told us a story about a dog giving birth in the cemetery. Tim told us The Philadelphia Gun Story. Here is an excerpt: Tim running down the streets of Philadelphia, wearing a mitten, holding a ceramic gun high in the air, appearing to chase two girls. The gun was real. In Richmond, there was a sign that said "SORRY, WE'RE OPEN." Bojangles bought the first stoplight for Richmond.

Liz hosted the reading at Chop Suey—which I wish I'd had more time to browse, for it is a terrific bookstore—and did a very good job. She read introductions off her iPhone. Rachel read a story about life being a cover of other lives. Natalie read a poem about pandas that went over very well. Rachel and Natalie both reported later that they enjoyed a poem I read concerning a man who buys cookies in a Cumberland Farms. You can read an account of the reading by clicking here (thanks, Karen). After the reading, we went to another restaurant, Mamma Zu's, where Josh's friend Maya hooked us up. We passed around pasta and pizza dishes like a traditional Italian mobster movie. The Philadelphia Gun Story was told again and embellished further. I ate some tiramisu that did more things to my mouth than I've ever had done to my mouth. We hung out at another beautiful house, this one with a garden. Everyone in Richmond is friends and works at the same three restaurants. On the way home, we avoided the block were someone had been stabbed. Earlier we'd seen a fight where a woman appeared to both be talking on a phone and completely unaware of the world's existence. Richmond has a lot of interesting Civil War statues.

The next morning, we drove to Atlanta. It was a ten hour drive. We stopped in Greensboro, North Carolina for lunch. Even though we just wanted to learn about lunch, we learned about Elsewhere, which is an awesome antique museum/artist collective. We also stopped at a gas station on the South Carolina/Georgia border. We had to drive a little off the highway to get to the gas station. There was a whole Cheerwine soda case. One woman was smoking cigarettes and eating vanilla wafers at the same time. The air had a feeling of boiled peanuts.

We got to Atlanta, which, for those keeping track of analogies, is the Los Angeles of the South. I am staying with my friend Blake. There are trains that seem to run directly above his roof. It reminds me of my childhood home. Blake can eat French fries extremely fast. We are going to spend the weekend in Atlanta, then do a reading on Monday. Happy Father's Day!

1 comment:

Dreadymoongurl said...

Sounds like a fun trip Mike!