It is Friday night and even though Noelle and I both have to work tomorrow at the coffeehouse (an abnormal glitch in the weekly schedule), we are outta there, on the road, rollin’ down the windows, wind in our faces gone once the floor is mopped. I haven’t been to BigCity, NC since May. In fact, I haven’t been off Fork Mountain for anything other than work, groceries, or the ER in over two months. I had plenty of city time in Oregon, but really, I’d started to forget that North Carolina is 12 hours long by car end-to-end and that BigCity, for all it’s heat, is really pretty cool when you need to get away.
So we get away, and get out, and go, go, go out to eat on a splurge. We buy a bottle of wine for the two of us, eat long and whole and chatter up a storm. Then we go grocery shopping at Earth Fare where I can buy 3 DIFFERENT KINDS of wheat-free beer and organic meat and, perhaps most important, supreme dark chocolate. In course of an evening I’ve spent two weeks worth of tips from my barista life but it’s fine, it’s easy, and Noelle is driving so I can keep my ankle elevated and pop a few more Aleve on the way home.
Cutting through the darkness, we sing songs from our Women’s Signing Nights in rounds and foreign languages, harmonies, and catches. The sixty miles fly by and before I know it I am back at my dad’s truck on the side of Highway 226, peeing in the bushes, and staring up at the stars. Noelle head’s up Conley Ridge toward home and I head towards the mighty Roan toward my home and tomorrow is another day.
A sigh of relief. Another Aleve. And keep on keepin’ on.