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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

My friend Trav needed a wing man one night because he was going to a coffee shop to study, and by study I mean talk to the barista.  (I know this is straight out of a FOTC epsisode but stay with me.)  The place starts to fill up and we realize that the local Lexington heartthrob singer/songwriter is going to be there for a show.  Within an hour the place is completely packed with people standing outside and the barista is overwhelmed.  Not to overstep Trav, but she needed help and I needed a job.  She said the owner was cool and would pay me at the end of the night so I jump behind the counter and she’s teaching me everything I need to know in about 5 minutes. 

After a while I’m yelling over coffee grinders and the accoustic soul to take orders and the night is a hectic mess, coupled by the fact that I’ve taste tested about 15 espressos.  In the middle of this I look up to see the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen walk by and I may have to be cliche when I say that the room stopped because that’s the truth.  Someone introduces us and that’s it, she walks away to leave we wondering what just hit me. 

It soon appears, by her knowing my mutual friend, that we will run in the same circles.  It takes me forever but I finally go up and say hi.  Soon we’re having those two minute conversations now and then and she  always asks me about my music.  I was floored that she had seen me play although I couldn’t think of where, but I played it cool and told her about my gigs out of town, stories about the guys in the band, and that kind of talk. 

Then one day she mentioned my show at the coffee shop. 

Dang.  I was busted but didn’t even know I had been getting by with something.  How come she never noticed the guitar he played vs the piano I always talked about loading up?  I would later learn that she doesn’t get caught up in the details, not even remotely.  One time after 4 months of dating she was supposed to meet me at my car but couldn’t remember what I drove. 

She liked me anyway.    I was just coffee shop boy- out of town keyboard player Levon who studied Finance but couldn’t tell you why or anything about it. 

I’m going to fast forward two years.  I’ve been with Ashley for the whole time and Trav and the barista had since hit it off.  Trav and I are in Greece on the island of Paros and to save money we decided to room with a Danish girl we met on the boat out there.  That night while walking around she overhears a group of girls speaking Danish and now Trav and I are hanging  out in Greece with five tall blondes that don’t know much English. 

Next day on the beach none of them have their bathing suits on and they keep hitting the beachball to us.   Trav and I are a little bit taken aback at the idea of swimming on this exotic island with no one around except nude Danish girls.  I couldn’t do it, and this might be the most unrocknroll thing you read today.  I know you’re thinking it was only a cultural thing and they were probably laughing at our embarassment the whole time.  If that lets me be rocknroll, then think that. Fine.  It still got me thinking. 

I’d been gone from home a long time.  I’d started in Vienna and had taken my time down to the the tip of Italy.  I’d taken a boat across the sea from Brindisi to Corinth and stood on the Acropolis in Athens.  Now here on this spec amongst countless islands I have never felt homesick like I felt then.  Hiding from the Danish girls was kind of like that Ben Folds song, “I’m sorry I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong.” 

I would stay in Europe another month at school but as soon as I got home I took Ashley one night to the top of a 200ft dragline crane that was sinking in the mud, abandoned in an old Western Kentucky coal mine and got on my knee. 


I’ve never been more scared in my life, emotionally and physically.  There is a small platform at the top where the cables come down and some of the ladder steps along the beams had rusted away.  Why would I bring a nice girl to a place like this?  First of all, never ask a question like that.  Secondly, we wanted an adventure from the start. 

Trav and the barista got married the same summer as we did. 

This has been tested.  Guys, if you want to know if she is the one, then go to an island in Greece and take note of your behavior.  Either she is or she isn’t.  Thats the only surefire way I know to tell.


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