Wednesday, September 8, 2010

to thine own self beale true


As we got ready that evening to go to Beale Street to BB King's place, I felt like nothing else was gonna karma-smack us upside the head after what the day had been so far.... (see previous two Beale Street blog posts)

We had reached Memphis on a Saturday morning, got lost in a 3 block radius trying to find a special restaurant Mona knew was "somewhere right around here", and been thrown into a race down 9 flights of stairs at the hotel after a fire alarm went off and a voice in the wall screamed at us to LEAVE THE BUILDING NOW. 

So I got dressed, put my war paint on, and took out my Maddie earrings to wear (see Maddie's earrings blog post) and put them on for some bling.  I am not a flashy dresser, or even into clothes that much at all, but earrings are my weakness.  Steve was ready before I was, like a typical man, although I have to say I have worked hard to shave minutes off my dressing to go out prep time over the years.  I have two sisters who take twice as long as I do to get ready, because I was inspired to speed up by a man who can huff and make disgusted waiting noises that can be heard from 30 feet away (similar to a bull snorting only more obnoxious).  So now I can be ready to go somewhere from shower to out the door in 30-40 minutes, a record I take pride in.  I had Little Girl packed along with a lipstick and my driver's license and debit card in the camera case and out the door we went.

We met Mona in the hall and headed to Beale Street.  We had walked so many blocks looking for Rendevous at lunch that we knew exactly where Beale St. was.  We didn't want to drive, because we were all designated drinkers that night.  I thought it was a wise decision to walk, after all, how many people do you hear of getting killed by a drunk walker?  So we were on our way and I had LG out taking photos.

The air still held the remnants of the heat of the day, but the hard edge of it had softened a bit so that it wasn't stifling but made you feel as though you were wrapped from head to toe in a soft, warm blanket.  We strolled along, looking at buildings and people, and just chatting as we went.  There was a strong police presence, with cops walking the barricaded street, and police cruisers parked in every intersection.  I had never been to a city that barricaded a street off and turned it into a party.  What a night it was going to be!

We turned a corner and headed up the street.  At the end of the street was BB Kings.  I was so excited I could barely keep from running.  Steve stopped me one time because I was way out in front and Mona had stopped to watch some street acrobats and listen to some music playing in an alley.  I slowed down, stopped and turned around and went back and waited till Steve and Mona were ready to walk again.  Another half a block and there it was!


BB Kings Club!  I was so excited!  I love the blues, and he has always been one of my favorites.  We went inside, sat down and ordered some food and drinks and listened to the band playing.  The name of the band was The Will Turner Band, and even though the lead singer appeared to be very young, he had a lot of talent and I can imagine will probably evolve into a polished performer.  I was waiting for someone else though...the man himself...BB King...so I sat and listened and sipped my drink and just enjoyed the moment.

Now I have to add a little sidebar here about BB King.  Mona had made the reservations for us, and when we chatted online she made the statement that I was gonna be glad I had picked that weekend to go to Memphis because someone I'd wanted to see was going to be there...hints like that.  Now you have to understand Mona...when she tells something you are never sure if you are getting a straight story, but I swallowed that hook, line and sinker and went straight to the conclusion that BB King was going to be there.  And Mona being who she is, never steered me in any other direction...

So here we sit and about 9 PM another band starts setting up.  I am jumping up and down in my seat by then, and as I watch them set up I get LG ready for the photo op of a lifetime.  Then the band is announced:
"Ladies and gentlemen will you please welcome BB King's Allstars!"

Say WHAT?  ALLSTARS?  What the hell is an allstar?  I am sitting there in confusion, looking at them as they start to play, then it dawns on me.....

I've been bitten by a Mona tale....AGAIN....at first I was disappointed, extremely, then the band started to play....and suddenly it didn't matter.  They were pros, and played like they had been born with their instruments in their hands...it was so excellent that I suddenly realized that it didn't matter who was there that night.

What I realized as I sat there listening to the music was that I love music, I was in a place that was steeped in music history and that I was enjoying every minute of it.  My eyes and ears were on sensory overload, the food was great, and I was in the best of company...

I sat there thinking life doesn't get any better...good friends, food and music to share with them....

Yes, I think I can endure any amount of karma I thought to myself, when the rewards are like that night...

And I was feeling mellow and good about the whole thing the next day...a little sad to say goodbye to Mona, who was on her way back to work in one of my favorite places, the Alaskan tundra...but it was all good and a memorable weekend.....


And then I realized that night as I got ready for bed that I had left my favorite nightgown hanging on the back door of the bathroom on the 9th floor of that hotel in Memphis......

...my karma, stabbing me in the ass one last time.....



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