It is Sunday and rainy and I am sitting in a cafe in Mt. Juliet, TN, which is where I spent a lot of time as a kid growing up and reading my way through a great many rainy Sundays. Usually, probably, it was something by Gary Paulsen, Terry Brooks, C.S. Friedman, or Douglas Adams or, sometimes, Jean Craighead-George. I always wanted a pet peregrin.
I've ended up back in this place to spend a little extra time with my sister before heading to Seoul. That happens a week or so from now. I should probably get to packing. I've been told by wise and familiar people to bring, among other things: deodorant, spices, oatmeal, gluten-free soy sauce, story books, adapters, mosquito nets, toothpaste, toilet paper, a Kindle, The Joy of Cooking, and more money than I probably think I'll need. Unfortunately, a lot of these things I don't have (such as a Kindle or more money), and some of these things (such as mosquito nets and toilet paper), make me think the people are confused about where I'm going. Many people mention toilet paper, though, and so I will venture to believe them. Probably going to leave the mosquito nets at home. The rest I will fit in as best I can.
In case you were wondering, as I was, the distance from Nashville to Seoul is 6,917.7 miles.
Of the many things I'll miss of Nashville--besides family and Frothy and old friends newly moved into town, one will be the burlesque shows and the friends of recent make who perform in them. Last night, at the Exit/In, there was a show put on by a troupe called Panty Raid!. I brought my sister along to introduce her to the joy such things offered. The Panty Raid folk did not disappoint. They put on a show featuring belly dancers, sideshow sweethearts, three Spinderellas, two empowering escapes, and one man who swung about the room by way of his hair. It also featured acrobatic pole dancing by a duo from St. Louis called, Gravity Plays Favorites, and the Chicago musical stylings of two women whom my sister and I, a couple of nights before, had had the pleasure of smoking hookah with.
The thing was hosted by a Miss Lolly Pop. Besides her very pretty dress and penchant for the word "Breastacular!" the most wonderful thing about her was that she was the host and so not in need of her table. This meant that my sister and I and the rest of our group had a place to sit and enjoy the show.
If you've ever wondered what a burlesque show is like, readers, I will explain it to you, as I attempted to explain it to one of the two beautiful hooka women last night sometime after two in the morning.
Our group--being at this point my sister, the beautiful woman and her husband, and me--had gone back to their house for lounging about and discussing important things like why aren't we asleep yet?
By the time I began my explaining, my sister had more or less answered that question by falling asleep.
This is what I said.
"It's like Doctor Who," I said. "There are those episodes that are so scary--with monsters and nightmares so wonderful, that they make you giggle. Burlesque is like that for me. Not exactly nightmarish (though the sideshow act of human bullseye--hey kids! let's throw darts at the man's shoulder!--was a bit squeam inducing), but somehow so sexy and silly and wonderful that you kind of giggle with glee that such things exist."
"I understand," the beautiful woman said, which is always a nice thing to hear from a beautiful woman. "That was what attracted me to burlesque. The happy."
It was some time after this exchange that we decided maybe my sister had the right idea. So, I woke her up and we drove home to a house which is next door to the house we grew up in and this kind of sentence structure raises expectations for more profundity than I meant for this post, or sentence, to have when I began either one. The important thing, really, is that we drove home and woke up and this morning she hugged me in the kitchen and said, "That was so much fun last night."
So, while I'm in Seoul, finding more happy and sexy and silly and wonderful things, I'm fairly certain that the Nashville burlesque scene has a new devotee. And that, well, that makes me happy.