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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from Levon)

We ride our beach cruisers down the Virginia Beach boardwalk asking if anyone is hiring.  If a business finds themselves short staffed at this point in the tourist season, they have made some serious miscalculations or had some bad luck, but if you’re going to spend a summer day throwing out applications, might as well be here so that it feels like fishing.  We are staying with Ashley’s brother Dustin and his wife Cortney in a little beach house two blocks from the ocean front.  As a lifetime inlander, I’m near giddy about the fact that I could be standing in the sand if I took a left off the porch and walked 400 yards.  Dustin gets up and surfs before he goes to work.  How sick is that?

These days we are writing and closing chapters quickly, and every detail that does or doesn’t work out could change everything for us.  Thus is the life of forgone stability: it feels like volatility.  Either way you settle into a rhythm, and then you dance. We are down to the belongings that fit in the car and have left our dog and cat on the farm.

Let me say a bit about the Grace Acres experience now that we have put some road daze between us and it.  Those three weeks spent in wide open skies, near solitude, and living with our heads close to the ground could have been no better place to land after all the winding of the months prior.  The city offers a couple of kinds of wealth; one which we could only look at through windows, and another: the palpable diversity of the walks of people which becomes the city itself.  But there is an altogether different wealth found in simplicity.  Leave the towers of manmade interruptions and return to the basic order of things.  Orders as peaceful as pulling a warm tomato off a vine or as unpleasant as wringing a chicken’s neck and putting him in a pot.  A city is dependant on the certitudes that lie outside it.  I consider it privilege to have seen both sides in such clear examples, and in so short a timeframe as that my hands and feet feel like both could be the reality tomorrow.  But today I’ll be beach bum as I ponder these matters.

The waves hit the sand where Ashley and I started five years ago, a full circle away.  When I had my first office job and she drove a 1988 Subaru stationwagon.  We honeymooned on about $250 and drove back to Western Kentucky, barely in our twenties, eager to live big and live small.

We are as broke on paper as we’ve ever been but consider ourselves rich in experience and realizations, in family and friends.  Grace Acres Studio (which is currently in the trunk, less the Frank Campbell guitar collection) afforded me with solid beginnings toward my DIY record.

(pictures to follow)


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