Monday, July 16, 2007


To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about going to Atlanta. I once dated a guy from Georgia who done me wrong. Part of me was wigged out at the prospect of suffering Georgia-accent-induced flashbacks. Can I take your drink order? No! No, you may not infiltrate my circle of friends and then break up with me! Your room number is 627. Thanks! Thanks for stealing my car and then driving it to the beach! That'll be $10.27. Oh? Is that what they call it now--$10.27? I thought it was called encouraging your friend to abandon his crappy car at my house for almost a year!


Atlanta was much fun, for my mother and me, anyway. Charis Books is in Little Five Points, a super-funky part of town. Mom, Caleb, and I took a cab to the bookstore and we arrived with a little time to spare for dinner. I saw a pizza place across the street, and we headed over.

Did I mention that, by this point, Caleb had almost nothing to entertain him for, like, 36 hours? That at one point he had resorted to playing with his own flip-flop? So, it was maybe not the best place to steer a little old man who was getting increasingly cranky. The cashier, while pleasant, had more metal on his face than skin. Only one table was wiped clean. The music was loud, and by the time our pizza got to the table, someone had popped on a death metal CD.

I looked at Mom and Caleb. Mom was gamely nodding her head to the music. Caleb was vibrating with rage. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S UNDER THE TABLE?" he asked me. "CHEWED. GUM. ALL UNDER THE TABLE. IT'S DISGUSTING."

Mom popped out some hand sanitizer and soon we had the joint smelling like Bath & Body Works. Caleb grabbed my arm. "PROMISE ME," he hissed, "THAT WE NEVER HAVE TO COME BACK HERE AGAIN."

Luckily, the evening shaped up very quickly. The women at Charis--Kerrie, Stephanie, Amanda, and Angela--sure know how to throw an event. I met so many great people--including the excellent writer Katherine Hester--and the discussion was lively and just fun. Many, many thanks to everyone who came. I could have stayed much, much longer.

Jessica Handler drove us back to the hotel. Jessica has written several things for Brain, Child, but we'd never met in person. I had absolutely no idea how much fun she is! Even Caleb brightened up.We had drinks; Mom and Caleb had carrot cake; and I decided that I'd like to pack Jessica up and install her in Charlottesville.
Confidential to Aunt Kathy: Happy Birthday, lady!


jessica said...

Next time M. and I go to see his friends in DC, we will descend upon you! We dig Charlottesville, and now we have another reason to go.

By the way, most excellent TMBG reference in "Practically Perfect...". You and I have way more to talk about, apparently.

Jennifer said...

You best! I'll get a sitter and we'll hit the town!

Dagmar said...

ahh - see - ya shoulda gone to the Vortex instead of the Pizza place :-) Or at least, gone to Savage Pizza, 1/2 block up the street. Glad your reading went well though - pls come back to Atlanta sometime. (Sorry about the guy who done ya wrong...)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the guy "who done you wrong" is very sorry for his prior behavior.

We do hurtful, stupid things when we are kids.