Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Accents, G-strings and Rum: Cocktail Hour Down South

Our initial descent depressed me. The dry, rust-colored Alabama hills were marred by winding clay paths, paths that didn’t so much snake around the curves of the knolls and valleys as they instead, made senseless turns, cross-backs and forks. Slow, faltering, lazy, just like the people, I thought.

It’s okay, I can say it—I’m one of them.

The book I had been reading slid through my fingers and into my lap as I stared out the plane window, saddened and transfixed. We hovered above the hills at the same altitude for a good long while, long enough to depress me… long enough to make me think of having 2.4 children and buying a 3-bedroom ranch-style house…long enough to ponder living in a city w. exactly 2 good restaurants… long enough to make me remember a few weeks ago back down South…

A friend had recently gotten married and invited Southern Boy and I over for drinks. Eight o’clock in the evening, we walk into her home, her palace, her reason for going to junior college and never crossing the state line. Brown wall-to-wall plush carpeting, a living room furniture set from “Haverty’s” and the smell of Shake N’ Bake pork chops wafting out of the kitchen greeted us. She and the husband scoot off in search of their last bottle of Myer’s coconut rum (yes—rum for an aperitif) and leave us to the delights of their living room. Wedding pictures, embroidered pillows and—what was this? What had they chosen for coffee table reading? Last year’s subscription to Playboy Magazine. January through December were fanned out to delight us—g-strings, lightening-shaped pubic hair, ass-shots, come-hither stares and all.

Southern Boy laughed. I grimaced. $20 martinis at the Four Seasons had never seemed so appealing.

Good God, get me back to the City.

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