Back at the Sylvia Beach Hotel for some uninterrupted writing time. We got out of town a little after noon today. We had to take my car, but Traci came along unexpectedly so I made her drive while I could finish my book (Blood Bound, by Patricia Higgins). It's been almost physically painful not just being able to finish it in one long session. I miss the days when I could just put everything off but eating and sleeping until I was finished with a good book. I got through Fried Green Tomatoes in one day that way, the same day I saw the movie and found out there even was a book. The book was better of course.
We grabbed some lunch at the Chowder Bowl one block over from the hotel. It's nice being out with meat eaters and not having to think too much about the restaurants we go to. I ordered Slumgolian Chowder, which doesn't sound like anything you should ever put in your mouth, but is really just chowder with a bunch of baby shrimp in it. The waitress couldn't tell me why it's named that though. It didn't matter because it came out piled with shrimp and a pat of butter on top! What could be better?
We had a fabulous dinner tonight with MUCH better company than the last time I was here with Jess. Carmen opted out of dinner for tonight so Traci and I went together. At our table was a couple who lived just up the street, Jim and Pam. They appeared to be in their 60's at least and seemed like a really happy, very romantic couple. His parents had gotten them a gift certificate for dinner. Gay (yes, that was really her name) and John were a mother/son pair from Portland. John is a theatre director who helped start the NW Children's Theatre and then went his separate way to start something new more recently. Because the theatre community is so tiny, he knew my friend Adrienne, who now runs the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. John also asked about the last production I saw Adrienne in at the Coho theater, written by Dan, another high school friend who is now living and writing plays in New York. I couldn't remember the name of the play to save my life (until 30 minutes later, when I suddenly blurted "Jingle Spree!" into a conversational pause, causing John and my sister to look at me at first, oddly and then with knowing expressions), but after a brief plot synopsis, John remembered the play.
Randi is a judge from Cleveland who was visiting with her mother Rita. They're staying in the Agatha Christie room and found SBH through the booklet on 1000 places to see before you die. Everyone seemed very nice and told interesting stories. Rita and Traci found quite a few favorite Columbus restaurants they had in common, proving once again that it's a small world.
Most of our table was game for the two truths and a lie game and we had a lot of fun once we got going. Pam was especially good at grilling people with pointed questions that made me sweat when it was my turn. I started to ramble out of nervousness and was sure I'd given myself away but I fooled a couple of people. My statements were that I rode my bike from Seattle to Portland twice, I performed on stage with Ani Difranco and that I had bungee jumped from a hot air balloon. Pam asked me how the balloon was anchored, which was one of the questions that got me in trouble. I have been bungee jumping, just not from a hot air balloon, though I've heard it's been done.
Other people were quite clever with their lies and it was fun questioning them. I was kind of jealous that everyone at the table seemed to still have parents, or at least the parent they liked best to travel with. I wonder what it would have been like to still have a mom in my 60's. I'm trying not to dwell on how many long years I'm going to be without a mom—assuming I live that long. Sometimes, I still can't believe she left us.