In attempt to get my name know down the I-5 corridor, I booked venues all over the area. Turns out that even though I’m trying to get my papered thoughts out there, I can’t read for a damn.
I booked a reading at the Palisades Cafe in Mt. Vernon for Wednesday night, July 6. I pitched Joe, the guy who organizes the event, a short essay. He wrote back with an enthusiastic response, so I booked the reading right away.
Naturally, I posted on Facebook like some big phony celebrity that I was preforming in Mt. Vernon. I had all these messages comin’ through:
My friend Rowan from my creative writing class tagged along. Three girls I traveled Southeast Asia with this past winter also squeezed into my car. I drove and it was sunny and we were all having a great time.
10 minutes before we got to Mt. Vernon, I asked Maria if she could plug in the address of the venue into my phone. Maria couldn’t pull up the damn address for the life of her. She kept saying, “Hannah, it says it’s in Iowa!”
Turns out Maria was right and we were about a three days drive away from the venue. I had a gut feeling that we were going to be late…….
So here we were all together, shoved into my little car with no chance of escaping the reality I had created. Here I am with an ant-sized following and I already need an assistant.
The only thing I could think of was that I needed a beer.
I asked if anyone had ever been to La Conner and most of them said no, so I swerved off the freeway and skidded over to La Conner Brewing Company.
When we got to La Conner Brewing Company, I was ready for a drink. Boy, was I ready for a drink. It took about 20 minutes for the damn waitress to stop being a big sack of potatoes before she asked me if I wanted a beer. She was awful. Boy, was she awful. She was just about the most awful server I ever had. After we put in our drink orders, it took another 20 minutes to get them poured. Normally I would have said something, but I wasn’t in the mood to turn my fire on. The fact that I had booked a venue in Iowa was enough water to put that out for the night.
I ordered something vegetarian again. Mushroom pizza. I don’t know what’s getting into me lately. When I got home, I took a long, hard look in the mirror and really questioned who I was becoming.
Harvey says I’m a closet vegetarian.
After the waitress finally came back with our checks, I tipped her the lowest amount I have ever tipped anybody. I didn’t feel bad about it either.
She really was awful. She hung out by the bar most of the night. She gave us stink eye when we gave her encouraging, puppy-dog eyes.
I wonder what she’ll do with the potatoes. Is she a masher? Roaster? Fryer? I bet she’s a masher. She seemed pretty angry anyone was even in the restaurant. I bet she went home and mashed all those potatoes together and didn’t even add butter to them. That’s how stinkin’ lazy she was.
I wrote Joe an email apologizing for my absence and I told him if I ever become a phony hot shot or I’m ever around Mt. Vernon, Iowa, I would love to do a reading at the Palisades Cafe. Joe also told me he wondered where I was, but didn’t care too much. In the end, my inquiry caused Joe to ask a few other writers to preform their work. He told me it got the cycle spinnin’ again in the good ol’ town of Mt. Vernon, Iowa!
Until next time,