A lot of weird stuff has been happening. The best way I can describe it is that the universe has been giving me what I need to keep my spirits up enough to not hightail it outta Asheville. Or perhaps it's a reward for having the wherewithal to stay here. I had been having a truly atrocious time in Asheville, but I guess Mother Nature didn't want this leg to be a complete bust. Here's what's happened since the last time I blogged:
I told the most recent dude I slept with that he should get his jizz tested for holy water. I still don't feel great about Asheville, but I can't deny that some happy connections have been coming up lately.
Here are some other moments that have brought me joy:
OUR FIRST VIGNETTE:
I went to a movie about the Trockadero ballet troupe called "Rebels on Pointe." Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is a company created in the 70s right after the Stonewall riots. It is entirely comprised of gay men and the film is about perseverance, joy, and living your truth. I highly recommend it.
I knew it was going to be sold out because it was a one-night showing, so I bought a ticket online. A ticket was sent to my phone with a barcode and a QR code. I get to the theater, attempt to walk up to the door and the bouncer stops me. I show him the ticket on my phone and he tells me that I have to wait on the huge line so I can show the box office my e-ticket, at which point they will print me a paper ticket. “What’s the point of buying a ticket online if I still have to wait on the box office line?” I asked. “There’s a barcode right here.”
The bouncer didn’t budge. “You need to wait on that line, ma’am.”
The movie was starting in 5 minutes. He’s still not letting me in, so I go wait on the line. Behind me, I see an older couple join the line after going through the same ordeal and we lock eyes in a can you believe this shit kinda way. “Why did we get tickets sent to our phone if we can’t use them?” the man says. “That’s stupid.”
“I want to complain, but I’ll turn into the bitchy New Yorker that I am,” I admit.
“We’re from Jersey,” the woman says. “We’re probably worse.”
“I knew I recognized my people!” I tell them. We laugh.
Finally, I get my paper ticket, show it to the bouncer with a side-eye, grab some popcorn and head in. It’s packed, but I find a seat tucked into a corner in the back. When I sit down, I hear someone say “Helloooooo!” behind me. It’s dark, but the person is waving. I thought it was someone mistaking me for someone else when I look over and realize it’s the couple I was just standing on line with.
“So how are you liking Asheville?” the wife asks me.
“Oh, I fucking hate it here!” I say cheerily.
“Us, too!” she says.
OUR SECOND VIGNETTE:
One night I go to a paint-your-own-pottery place because there’s nothing else to fucking do and I’m bomb at arts and crafts. Whatever weird, shy, artsy kid gets me as their stepmom (cuz Lord knows I only date divorced men with kids) is gonna be jazzed as hell when I start busting out the lanyards and pom-pom creatures and one of these bad boys:
(^^Anyone who had one of these growing up definitely remembers the distinct smell of cray-pas)
Also, when you haven’t had sex in a couple weeks, the mind starts to deteriorate and you end up doing things like oh, I dunno, painting your own fucking pottery. I made a vase.
OUR THIRD AND FINAL VIGNETTE:
Last weekend, my AirBNB host was traveling and so I was alone in the house (my favorite man in Asheville—my host’s pitbull mix named RD—was staying with her bf) when at the last minute, a couple rented the room next to mine. 90% of the time that room is empty. The other 10% it’s rented by very young couples (I’m talking college age) trying to have a romantic getaway. And then they see me, a wizened old crone, slither out of my room periodically to drink another gallon of coffee on my way to the bathroom and they get a load of this:
On more than one occasion, the boyfriend of the couple (always the boyfriend), opens the door to my bedroom and the embarrassedly says, “Oh, I didn’t know anyone else was here.” Well, guess what, motherfucker. I’m here to make your getaway 200% less romantic.
This weekend, an older couple celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary came. They were incredibly nice and spoke with thick, syrupy drawls. One morning the husband and I struck up conversation just as I was heading out for the day. He was surprised to learn that I walk everywhere. It was freezing out that particular morning. “We’re headed into downtown anyway. Let us give you a ride,” he offered. I told him it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted. When we went out front, I realized his truck had the name of a church emblazoned on the side of it.
The very nice couple dropped me off, I went about my day, and on the walk home I got high and ordered my favorite Stoned Meal (small plain pizza, cookie, and Thai wings with ranch—that last combo sounds disgusting, and, trust me, it is, but when you’re stoned it tastes GREAT) from Mellow Mushroom. When I got home, the couple was there WORKING ON SOME ARTS AND CRAFTS LIKE THE MOST ADORABLE THING IN THE WORLD (she was making a blanket, he was making collages). I had received an email alert that the delivery guy was nearby so I sat in the living room with them because I figured it would only be a few minutes.
It was not a few minutes.
You don’t know true fear until you find yourself high off your ass talking to a couple who drives a church vehicle while you wait for your food to be delivered. I think I may have been shouting but I don’t know if I had been shouting because I was experiencing the kind of high where I wasn’t quite sure of the volume of my own voice.
Regardless, they seemed very happy to talk to me and wanted to know what kind of stuff I had been working on. The next morning, the husband left me a CD of his music and wrote, “It was a pleasure. Write on!"
Passionate about everything having to do with the body, Dana Hamilton writes about sex, dating, relationships, body image, and eating disorder recovery. She is a regular contributor to Playboy and her work has appeared in VICE, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and SELF, among other publications.