Monday, July 25, 2011

In Which I Buy Myself A Present

It's been such a nice day.

Hank and Jessie and I walked around downtown doing exactly and whatever we felt like doing. We ate lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant with all of my favorites- tabbouleh, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, etc. And a Turkish coffee. We all wandered through many chi-chi stores with jewelry and handicrafts and even books but I wasn't tempted to buy a thing until we went into a pen and paper and ink store and the next thing I knew, I was the proud and happy owner of a scarlet fountain pen, made cleverly in Japan as well as a fine pad of paper made lovingly in France.
Oh my.
It called to me, that pen, sitting up there in a cup by the cash register. I held it in my hand and weighed the balance of it and it felt right. I bought cartridges and a little converter thing you can use to put bottled ink it and when I got back here I unwrapped it and put a cartridge in it and wrote a haiku because you know, it is Japanese.
The haiku went like this:

Japanese ink pen
Scarlet like lipstick, it grabs
The paper with ink.

It writes so well, a fine point nib, and that is my birthday present to myself. Well, that and everything else on this trip.
It began to rain, just as Jessie and Hank and I got back to my little home here and we came upstairs and after they left, I went down to the Kava Bar and had another delightful bowl of a double-shot and talked to some sweet young people. Young as in they thought that the owners of the Kava Bar, who are in their thirties, are older people.
I could tell they were nervous with each other, this boy and this girl and so I talked to them a little to ease the air between them. I think they are newly dating or whatever it is that the Young People do these days in order to get together. They were so very sweet.
When I left I said, "Good bye, young people! It was nice to meet you!" And it was. And when I left, they had me to discuss for awhile, which was a good thing because I could tell that they had been struggling to find things to talk about.

Jessie and Vergil have a rehearsal tonight and so Hank is just hanging out at their house, reading and playing with kittens and Lis just called and is on her way home. I've had a bath with the Jacuzzi jets and I've written Mr. Moon a real letter with pen and paper and it's raining still and I am content and Kava-mellow, looking forward to some left0ver pizza.

Ah. I am as boring traveling as I am at home. But I didn't overhear any crazy conversations or see any truly strange situations. It is worth mentioning that the more I see of Asheville, the cooler I think it is. The beautiful architecture of downtown, the way people are so polite and friendly, and honestly, a extraordinarily good-looking group of inhabitants, to tell you the truth. Everywhere we went I felt that the person working behind the counter had to be one of the most attractive people I'd ever seen, man or woman. Not in an LA kind of way, but with a sort of natural beauty that comes from the eyes and from health.
Maybe it's the water which truly is delicious. If they bottled and sold Asheville water in bottles, I would buy it. That's how good it is.
The beer's not bad either.
And the Kava is...good and dirty.

Here's one building I liked, mostly for the curtains on that center window on top:

In a parallel universe, I am living there right now and I am eating Kalamata olives, tomatoes and cheese. I suppose I still have that lunch on my brain.

Here's a picture that I got of the three of us in front of a window which reflected us back onto ourselves.

Yeah. It's a sucky picture. I'll try to do better as the week goes on. Right now I'm still in Total Tourist Mode. "Hey, y'all! Lookit that!"

I am glad to be here; it is what I needed. To have time with some of my children, to be with Lis, to be in a situation where there is really no work for me to do but plenty of things to enjoy. Simple things like walking different streets, drinking coffee in different places, watching the rain come in from a balcony, tasting new things, laughing a lot, sleeping deeply.

When I was buying the pen, Hank and Jessie were saying things like, "She wants the fine nib," and "Mama, get the cartridges and the converter," and they the guy at the desk said, "Your children sure seem to know what you want," and I said, "Oh. They do," and he said something like how nice it was to see such a close family and I said, "I have the best children in the world," and Hank said, "She did a good job with us," and I said, "You have to have good material to begin with," and it was so silly and I teared up, right there, buying a red pen and a pad of French paper and it was one of those moments that you hope to your bones you remember forever.

This trip is a gift in every sense of the word and I told that to Mr. Moon in the letter that I wrote to him.

I am so blessed, whether in Lloyd or in Asheville or wherever I may roam.

Your intrepid reporter...Ms. Moon


  1. I'm so happy for your trip and your new pen. Funny, I've been thinking about fountain pens lately, remembering the way they scratch across the paper and the way the ink flows out so nicely. I went through a serious fountain pen and sealing wax phase when I was young. Maybe it's time to play again.
    You make me miss Asheville even more than I already do. Isn't downtown just lovely? So accessible and interesting. I've barely begun to explore it there.
    I'm so glad you're having a nice time and enjoying your kids and they you.
    ps Amy's death is so sad because nobody could save her, least of all herself. Such a waste.

  2. Lovely pen and paper!
    I think they are newly dating or whatever it is that the Young People do these days in order to get together.
    Probably the same thing I did at their age. Fuck then order a pizza.


  3. Nice about the pen. I have a collection of fountain ink pens, several of which came from Japan. I have old ones as well. I write in my journal using my pens.

    I am hoping for rain here. Yeah, Asheville is cool. But so is this town. In fact, it is rated as very artsy and cool, having some of the most attractive people in the country. Interesting.

  4. Be still my heart, your pen, that haiku, hank and jessie at the pen store, yr letter to mr moon, all of it, loved the way you described the yougins. You sign off made me laugh and smile. Forgive me I am writing from my phone, not easy.

    I loved all your posts.
    I want to tel you something, but don't tell anyone, k? I just shave my haven't been shaved in 8 years legs. I don't know what got into me!

  5. Oh, Ms. Moon, this is so beautiful. I can just imagine you writing on that fine French paper with that fountain pen.
    The part about the closeness of your family, sure made me tear up.
    Enjoy yourself and your darlings.

  6. Glad you are having such a fine time.

    The conversation about raising the kids was totally endearing. I love y'all.

  7. That's a lovely story :) I'm glad you got your pen, and I'm glad you helped out the Nervous Teens and you three are so cute in that photo :)

  8. This post is like a cleansing rain for me.

  9. The love flowing around you, Mr. Moon, four beautiful children and one amazing grandson (and all lucky enough to travel in your extended circle) is a fairy tale come true.

    I am so happy you are having such a wonderful time in Asheville ~ It is definitely one of my top five favorite cities!


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.