Today started with a kick ass vegan meal from Green Sage Cafe in Asheville, NC.
It was sunny out, so I took a stroll, looking for all the quirks the city had to offer - when I made it into the Arcade. I knew I had been there before. But which time? This is the beauty and pain of being a vagabond. These very true instances of “deja vu” ... it’s not just a mirage.
I had had to keep calling this number, with a robot who sounded like a nice uncle, to renew my parking meter. This was the constant check on reality as I meandered through the streets filled with Buddha’s, “you are beautiful,” “remember to live...”
With the advent of mindful eating, influx of yogis and yoga teachers; the corporatization of the “woke” movement - poor Asheville is being changed by “the man.”
As you come down the mountain to the once quaint and magical town (Still is but the future is apparent), huge buildings under construction tower over the city. Folks making money off of the folks fleeing to places like Asheville thinking they will find salvation in a place without first finding it within themselves.
After I had walked for about 3 hours and a since I was tired of calling the parking uncle, I decided to head to Knoxville.
I needed gas, and made a turn right outside of Asheville. The whole town felt like a Walmart parking lot, with unhappy folks spending their coins under Florescent lights. To make use of the wrong turn I stopped in a depressing place called Bi-Lo to get water, apples and other supplies but was hard pressed to find anything in this sad place, that didn’t have all of the chemicals and fillers they feed to the Herd.
Off to to get fuel from The Man. Then back to my home, the road.
I often drive in silence, sometimes tunes but mostly I love podcasts. It is an incredible age for knowledge. That double edged sword of technology brings our demise but also the accessibility of everything we would ever know, for Free.
(Everything is free now - Gillian Welch)
I listened to the season 2 finale of NPRs “More Perfect...” After leaving Asheville this was a fitting episode. Surrounding the breathable nature of the Commerce Clause and the monetary Soul of the USA.
Then there was Knoxville.
Per usual, from my Production soul, I arrived way early.
Loaded in (this venue is on a pedestrian square, the only accessible load in is through a creepy alley that is beautiful muralled, narrow and filled with trash cans. To get through I’d have to walk into this alley alone. Remove the trash cans. Load in. Put trash cans back. I have done this before. Not smart for a solo lady.
So now I park illegally in the the handicap spot, take my gear and sprint. Then park in the lot across the way), went back to Loretta to escape the cigarette smoke and listened to The Wintervals (because I saw their poster in the window).
When it came time I arrived at the venue and ordered water with lemon - since my diagnosis the booze intake has been mostly replaced by teas and water - and prepared for my 3 hour set with an empty notebook and black binder brimming with words from folks I admire.
There was a vending machine with guitar strings; a smart move for a venue that hosts live music every night of the week.
I met a lonely man with grand stories from the past and a guitar on his back,named Robert Scott; “you know, for $10 I’d be your opener but I guess I’ll go bang it out on the street and see what I get.” - more on him later.
And then, commenced in the Smokey bar, of folks who like to drink, by which I am a background noise, and on stage where it is unusually cold. Gulp in the smoke air. Try to feel my fingers and keep my nose from running into the microphone while trying to get outta my head and just fucking perform. - eventually I got there. I kept looking at this heart on the floor, it was my secret cheerleader.
Some folks listened, some folks didn’t I don’t blame them, I wasn’t on my game so much this night- I’m working on consistency, which is hard when you are so sensitive to the energies around you. They were nice, the staff was incredible as always. My incredible friend Trisha showed up before her work shift and to let me know I had a place to rest my head - she is an incredible woman, music is really the great emulsifier -
I was bought a whiskey by a fella named Jesse. Had a scar on his right eyebrow. Wanted to support me but didn’t have any cash. Didn’t want to get in the way of my boyfriend but was upset I was taking to other people, who were “better at flirting.” He knew a lot of famous musicians, screamo... they were international. He is from Knoxville but gone for 10 years and just moved back. He appreciated me putting my art on the stage and though he was in the military and made speeches to hundreds of important people he couldn’t put an art on stage. Also, he was not trying to get in the way of my boyfriend but he, well you know this story.
I met another fella. He talked on cosmic love and that he didn’t hate capitalism but it is important to destroy their core. Unemployment is not a bad thing. He also was no rookie at drinking. Kind and on the brink of enlightenment but lost to his own demons .
I thought I lost my John Prine hat. I’m not materialistic. I’d lose most everything if I could. But this. This was a thing. The thing. So many folks helped me look. I never lose anything. When I returned to show them I had mistakenly left it in Loretta I was met with hugs of true happiness. That. That was the highlight. Humans can be beautiful.
I commenced to Trisha’s and arrived to find a glittery gift on the bed that she and her daughter gave up. So I could sleep on it while they dreamt on the couch.
Thank you Trisha.
Thank you Knoxville.
Thank you Preservation Pub.