Sunday, January 22, 2006

Immediately after graduating college, a few friends and I took a road trip. We drove from New York to Miami. We visited friends in Baltimore, DC and Atlanta along the way,. Then we spent about a week in South Beach and had a killer return though Florida with a day at Disney World and a night hanging out at my grandmother’s condo while she demonstrated her recently acquired Hawaiian belly dancing moves. After an amazing vacation we were in great spirits through our ascent up North. Then, just eight miles south of the Florida/Georgia border our car broke down. Completely and absolutely done. No signs of life. We called road-side assistance but they said they could do nothing to help us. We were broken down in a Lexus in the middle of bum-fuck with the closest dealership more than three hours away. We were forced to call a local tow truck company to take us to the nearest town.

That’s where Frog came in. Frog was our tow truck driver. He had a southern accent so thick we literally were unable to communicate with him. By the look on his face when we opened our mouths, you would think we were speaking Swahili. Luckily, we had a native Southern with us and our Georgian friend turned on his twang. We sat listening intently as they spoke their twisted tongue without catching a single recognizable phrase. The next thing we know, the four of us were crammed into the cab of a tow truck heading to Valdosta, Georgia—the nearest town with a hotel.

Self-contained Valdosta was equipped with the all the cultural necessities—a water park, a Hooters and a Holiday Inn. We got two hotels rooms for the night and paid $40, total. Then we sat at Hooters and people-watched over Buffalo wings and tap beer. It was awesome. The next day we rented and car and parted ways. Two of us needed to get back to New York while the other two were forced to Atlanta to deal with the car. As we got into LaGuardia we quickly shifted back into New York mode. My friend’s mother was in town and wanted to see us for dinner. We quickly pulled wrinkled outfits from our suitcases, put on some lip gloss and headed to Olives, where their family friend Todd English is the owner and executive chef. Eight hours prior we were devouring grits at Waffle House and here we were eating fois gras and polishing off bottles of fabulous wine with Todd English.

After a long, delicious dinner we all decided to keep the ball rolling and headed to Marquee. It was a great night, the crowd was fun and the music was amazing. Every song was better than the one before it and everyone was into the groove, especially myself. I danced like wild and passionately belted out the words to every song. So taken by the music and utterly wasted, I felt compelled to express my gratitude to the DJ. I walked right into the booth without hesitation and started chatting it up with DJ Reach. I complimented his selection and style as he graciously accepted and gave a full run down of his upcoming gigs and events. I saw him a week later spinning at Jet East in the Hamptons and again the following week at Marquee. He ignited the party each time and made going out actually seem fun for the first time in a while. I would always stop by his booth to say hi and we soon become night-life acquaintances. I would tell my boyfriend at the time I wanted to go out so I could see my new favorite DJ spin, and he was convinced I had a crush. But it wasn’t like that, I thought to myself. It wasn’t actually about him, it was about the music.

It was about the music? Who says that? Who thinks that? And when did I start formulating such ridiculously cheesy sentences? But I was a groovie. A full on groovie. I just didn’t know yet. And groovies definitely know its all about the music. So on that really random day that started over grits and maple syrup in Valdosta, I ended up a groovie on the dance floor at Marquee never wanting to go home and never wanting this day to end.


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