Safely ensconced once again in San Francisco, and soon to consume some sort of soy product for dinner (which I literally dreamt of while down South), I feel I should jot a few notes about my time in Nashville, lest I forget.
Lest I forget, for example, that when I asked for some sort of bread with the salad I ordered on Sunday night, I got a plate of iceberg lettuce topped with strips of fried pita. (I am not making this up.)
Lest I forget the looks of either perplexion or sheer loathing (or both) leveled by our table mates at us three Californians aboard the General Jackson showboat during its Monday night dinner cruise. Was it because we didn't understand their long-vowelled requests for swaaayt taaaay and buddher? Was it because we were already tipsy on whiskey-heavy cocktails when we sat down? (Hey, we were only supporting the Tennessee economy by drinking locally.) Was it because we had to contain our laughter during the way overblown jingoistic segment of the post-dinner entertainment? We'll never know.
But fried foods and cold shouldered table mates aside, we did have a swell time in Nashville, especially at the Bluebird Cafe, where we sat in that beautifully hushed, dim room drinking beer and listening to four men with guitars (one of whom wrote '867-5309/Jenny,' and one of whom sang what can only be described as an insanely catchy tune about a vibrator). I'm already feeling a bit nostalgic for that, as well as for our late-night meal at the Mad Platter, and our trip to tiny little Lynchburg, and our al fresco dinner at Mambu.
What I miss, I guess, is that feeling I got while listening to sad songs at the Bluebird, or watching the sun go down over the Cumberland, or looking through inky prints at Hatch--that feeling of life's annoyances and disappointments and uncertainties just disappearing. That only ever happens in spurts, and in the back of my mind I know those moments don't (won't, can't) last. But that doesn't stop me from loving them when they happen, or from feeling a tug of longing for them when they're gone.