Stepping out into the morning mist, the sky seemed to quiver in anticipation of the downpour that soaked the air around me. The scent of rain followed my walk into our downtown coffee shop. Unbeknownst to me was that my ten o clock coffee would turn into a five hour conversation spanning OU's International Studies, Nigeria's policies on human rights, a vivid description of walking a street in Rome where each building held trafficked individuals, pairs of heels lined the streets from where women literally left them as they ran for freedom from captors, and moving into the rhythm of minds exploring the ebb and flow of Oklahoma outsiders' perception that we don't ever think about what we think about what we think.
Our conversation was a think tank of United Nations and World Policy bliss.
And then hunger set in.
We walked past the open door of the Greenhouse, the scent of locally made candles mixed with the urban smells of wet cement and asphalt. The train sounded against the heavily misting rain. Boutique Bella's french cart artfully arranged with tulips complimented the downtown planters gleefully colored easter eggs. I imagined a New York vendor pushing his cart, offering hot cocoa or warm steamed hot dogs loaded with cheese and onions, balanced against the rain.
Luckily, the Cellar serves lunch. Settling in against the folk lore tunnels that make one imagine the secrets still whispered against the bricked up walls of the connections beneath the street, we ordered culinary delights of thai influence and the southern delicacy fried green tomatoes.
Our conversations of the world's soul in evolution ended with a cup of hot tea sipped as we watched the storm's bathing of the shores of Wales, the air felt brisk and the sky seemed as if a banshee should herald a curse as we watched the rain fall from my back porch.
And as eve fell, we wandered into Ten Star, sipping Stellas and eating a pizza New york would be proud to claim.
Finally we settled into our own Irish Pub, the Goddard Center, marvelling at artwork from many talented youth as we mingled with locals sharing drinks and cultural interest. Along the walls, an orange offset wolf and a woman's portrait overlaid with a type of stencil of domestic outline intrigued, while the three dimensional playing card captured your eyes. The underlying messages made one wonder about the motivation of the result.
Inside, as the lone eerie siren song of the bagpipe filled the darkened theatre, my skin tickled with anticipation of something new, something haunting, and with the banging of the drum, the rhythm of an Irish soul meets REM of the 90's commanded the stage. The Killdares rocked the house!
So here's a toast with a frosty bottled beer...may you have your own international affair...on the streets of Ardmore.