Thursday, July 19, 2007


Nikki and Jenny have known each other since time began; their parents knew each other too. They now live a thousand miles away from that place where they grew up and occupy an adorable townhome (which Jenny owns) on the outskirts of Charlotte.

In this house are two pets: Leo, the tattooed tabby cat, and Tiko, the Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix (this, apparently, on purpose). At one point, I observed Leo chasing the six pound Tiko in the dining area, much to my amusement.

We went downtown (or "uptown" as they call it in Charlotte) where I temporarily wondered why all the men were dressed in pressed shirts and ties (until I realized that "Live After Five," the event we were attending, was, you know, after five).

Charlotte is roughly the size of Milwaukee (according to Nikki) with its own meager but charming collection of tall buildings. We sat by a fountain, the light reflected into the night, the sound of hip hop echoing against the glass windows.

It was hot much of the time we were there, drawing sweat into pools at the base of our backs. We dressed up in skirts and heels, wet beer in our hands, listening to the drawl: "Hey, y'all!" I could easily slip into that accent, but my company kept me in check, letting my o's linger in the humidity.

I love the motion of Chris's legs in the above picture. Nikki's knees are keeping them company.

Much of our time spent in the Carolinas was held up in good spirits. This is what happens when your history and your present collide and feel comfortable, like a wonderful old pair of jeans.

This: me, Jenny, Chris. An Irish pub with crumbling ledgers along the walls, with dark bottles, and a pair of talented acoustic musicians on a stage.

We were tired long before we would have been a dozen years ago. We thought of reading in our beds, the warm glow of small lamps dimming and the soft rustle of sheets and pillows. We stayed for one beer, in some ways, just to say we did, to appease to social gods, but also because our time is so limited together, so precious.

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