How we spent our time in Savannah. Short-short-short story style.

 

“Are you sure you wont choke,” I ask as I toss a tutti-frutti jelly bean high up into the air. It passes the neighboring lamppost and then guuuulp, falls down into my best friends throat.

“Yup, just work on your throw,” he replies “we may be able to make some cash from this.”  I position the jellybean in my hand so that it sits between my first two fingers and whomph… I toss the candy as hard as I can, kicking out my right foot, (which is hesitantly wearing a cowboy boot that I bought off e-bay some three years ago, hoping they will always be fashionable in the South).

“Crack,” is the onomatopoeia that’s made when my friend dodges oncoming traffic and knocks back the jellybean. Success.

The shock and awe of passing pedestrians is what we are hoping for. For someone to stop and talk with us, just to ask us where we are from, where we are going. “Michigan,” we would reply, or sometimes we’d say, “Ann Arbor, Michigan” (those fancy days when we’d whip out “Ann Arbor” were reserved for conversations with older people or when we were feeling haughty tauty). We’d tell them we were on a roadtrip, we’d joke and let them know just how badly we are avoiding the real world. Some would approve, some would have suggestions, some sweep into nostalgic memories of trips they took when they were young, “oh, kids these days.” It didn’t really matter what they told us, we’d soak up anyone’s words. Two weeks on the road, two weeks with just one other person-no matter how fun- and you start to humor yourselves into conversing with anyone willing to chat (not that we wouldn’t anyways).

“There are only eight beans left, how many can you catch,” I ask the little boy who is smiling at me.

“6 if you give me a good toss,” and now we smile because we both know he’s right. True to his word, 6 of the 8 were caught, and 2 were bad throws.  We discovered this game on a street corner in Savannah, it began as one of those ‘I can do anything better than you’ challenges, but we quickly learned that Kenny had quite the talent. If Star Search were still on, he could compete against 7-year-old Britney Spears and surely win the title “Upcoming Star.” But ah, that will have to wait for another lifetime, and in this life the only tosser available right now is me, and I’ll have to work on my toss if we are ever going to make enough money back to pay for these touristy expensive jelly beans.

And tourists we are, despite our attempts of chumming up to bartenders and asking them where to go and what to see in their hometown. Local joints quickly become tourist attractions as soon as we walk in. Resident eyes will shift up and down trying to remember if we are someone in towns cousin, but our enthusiastic grins give us away (which surely resemble early anthropologists smirk when discovering “the Natives”) and our exhibits return to their meals of fried chicken, or clam chowder or barbequed something.

“Whoa, that was a bad idea, can you see sweat on my back?” Kenny asks as we begin to walk past Washington Square and head to see the Dueling Pianos (fittingly a hometown hot spot where the piano man who resembles Elton John will later write down the names of places we should see on the back of a bar napkin). “No, it was great,” I say as I dump the now empty bag of jellybeans into the trash.

 

 

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