This is the first half of a Zimbits soulmate AU, where you can feel the pull of your soulmate like a compass. This is a first draft, so no corrections have been made so far. I just wanted to throw it out there. There will be a second and final part to this- and I’ll do my best to write it soon.
Dear Mama and Coach,
I’m sorry to leave with only a note, but this is something I have to do. I left for my pilgrimage. I know I’m way too young, but I couldn’t wait. … I think my soulmate is dying. I felt the pull stop for a full minute. It never happened before. I can’t wait another four years before seeking them! I hope you understand.
Also, I didn’t tell y’all because… I think my soulmate may be a man.
I hope you’re not too mad at me. I’ll call.
I love you both,
North. The pull had always pointed North. Sometimes, when Eric changed cities, he tried to triangulate the feel, but there was never enough difference in what he felt to pinpoint a precise location on a map. His soulmate could be in any of the states above Georgia, or- well, they could live further North. He wondered what would be worse for his parents, that his soulmate was a man, or that he was a Yankee.
He’d stressed about it for years but, now that he was stuck on a bus for who knew how long, he couldn’t stop worrying. He fidgeted with the cheap pilgrimage kit he’d bought at Atlanta. A map of the United States, a plastic ruler, a tiny pencil and a miserable looking compass that didn’t seem to point in the same direction if he shook it a bit. It was all he could afford, since the bus ticket from Madison to Atlanta, then Atlanta to… wherever, took most of his “borrowed” money.
That was another thing. His parents would be so mad when they noticed he took from his savings account. That money was supposed to go to his skating class- or more recently, his hockey equipment.
Maybe he could have asked. Maybe they’d understood, and offered more, and Coach would have lent him his own brass compass, the one inherited from his own father, the one he used to follow the pull until he found his own soulmate. Maybe his mother would have kissed him on the forehead and maybe she’d have offered to ride with him wherever the pull led him- North, North, always North…
But maybe not.
It wasn’t something Eric wanted to risk. The steadiness of the pull had stopped, for just a minute, maybe more, but that was enough to change Eric’s own life. He had someone, somewhere, whose soul was compatible with his- who was maybe a lover, a friend- and that someone’s life had blinked.
He held back his nervous tears, fidgeted with the compass once more.
Friday, May 5th from 7-11pm, the historic Mary Boyce Temple House in downtown Knoxville will be hosting my Fearsome Critters art show! There will be prizes, food, wine, and dozens of new sculptures and paintings I’ve been working hard on for weeks! I want to see y'all there!
Blair Adams was a 31 year old Canadian resident who was found dead in the parking lot of a Knoxville, Tennessee hotel in July 1996. The police later found out that just before his death he acted very strangely, claiming that people were trying to kill him.
On the 5th of July he took out all of his money in his savings account, along with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and gold. He went to the Canadian-American border to try and leave but was denied because of all the cash he had with him (a single man with a load of cash fits the profile of a drug trafficker).
The next day, he went to work and quit his job. He then bought a round trip to Germany and then went to a friend’s place to ask for help because he thought someone was trying to kill him. Unfortunately, his friend was unable to help. Then the next day he turned in his tickets, got a rental car, and was able to cross the border and go to Seattle.
He then bought a one-way ticket to Washington, DC and shortly after arriving there he went to Knoxville. He arrived at a gas station at 5:30 pm and told the attendant that his car would not start. The attendant then told Blair that he had the wrong keys. Blair then hitchhiked to a hotel where he began to act even more strangely. According to the manager, Blair walked in and out of the hotel lobby a total of 5 times before he rented a room, but afterwards went out and was never seen alive ever again.
Twelve hours later, his body, which was naked from the waist down, was found in the hotel parking lot. His body was surrounded with nearly $4,000 worth of Canadian, American, and German currency. The cause of death was later discovered as a blow to the stomach. He was murdered just as he had feared.
To this day this mysterious case remains unsolved.
When you woke up this morning, it was 70 degrees. It’s now 50 and there’s a massive thunderstorm. Now it’s sunny again.
You drive by the TVA lakes in the Cherokee Forest. They are beautiful. Then you realize that whole communities are under the water.
You go by a local cemetery at night. There are solar powered light up crosses over many of the graves. They resemble the souls of the dead.
You enter a local town. It’s pleasant. The people are friendly. Then you see a sign stating that one of the branches of the Trail of Tears started here.
You are driving through the mountains. You miss your turn. Suddenly, you are on a winding back road lined with old trailers and ramshackle houses. Old men with chewing tobacco in their mouths, women with flyaway hair, and shirtless children stare at your passing with vacant eyes.
You are in Knoxville: a vibrant, fascinating city. It’s also home to the the Body Farm, where corpses are left out to rot for science.
You are hiking in the Smoky Mountains. It is warm, sunny, and pleasant. Then, the clouds roll in, the temperature drops 10 degrees and, in the distance, you hear the sound of a banjo.
But that’s not the one I’m going to tell you about. ;) [I’m attempting to get you caught up on the coming’s and go-go-going’s of my crazy life - in the midst of my crazy life - so…without further ado!]
Journey with me, if you will, back in time to six weeks ago…and let’s go on a road trip!
• Orlando to Knoxville, Tennessee • Knoxville to Cleveland, Tennessee • Tennessee to Jacksonville [x’s two!] • Jacksonville to Orlando.
Whew! It was going to be a long weekend, but with enough Starbucks, we can do anything! [Or so I kept telling Kiley, who is pretty new to my insane gypsy life and had her doubts. She was also curious about when we were going to sleep. haha silly little lamb! Sleep is for sissies!]
First stop: The Edge in Knoxville! The go-go goddesses were kind to us that Friday, because they worked their magic and blessed Knoxville with my evil twin, Ms Mary Contrary, as well!
She’s the whitest black girl I know, I’m the blackest white girl she knows, and the two of us performing together is kind of ridiculous…it’s all long legs and sugar and spice and lips • hips • tits • and hair flips! And if your head isn’t reeling enough already, think about the fact that sometimes we have more fun backstage than on stage. ;)
Ow, ow! Love me some Mary!
The next day, Kiley and I headed to downtown Knoxville for a little stroll and to hunt for some sushi [which we found, and it was so good! I don’t tend to trust land-locked states and their sushi, but this shiz was legit]. It was a beautiful evening…
Ruined only by the fact that there was a Tennessee college football game going on.
Now, some of you may know what this means. But for those of you who don’t, like myself, it means that EVERYONE WILL BE WEARING ORANGE. And it will freak you out.
Sports people are a very dedicated group of people - and along with flocking to the streets [and making traffic absolutely god damned awful!], they enjoying dressing the part. Hence, I saw every article of clothing possible in the color orange - scarves, flip-flops, shorts, shirts, socks, hats (you get the idea).
So as we were trying to get on the road and head to Cleveland, the game let out. ::cue dramatic music:: [and judging by the sheer lack of expression on every single face, Tennessee lost. (hahahahah shame!)]. Our car was suddenly and completely surrounded by hundreds of orange zombies. It. Was. Terrifying.
I’ll stick to my fishnets and lipstick, thank you very much. And FYI, orange does not work for everyone. Yikes.
[wow. I totally just bitched on my blog about people wearing orange. I believe this is concrete evidence that I spend way too much time with gay boys.]
Kiley and I finally broke free of the hoard and made our way down to Cleveland, Tennessee to TBOW’S Tavern!
Now, let me tell you why TBOW’S is so awesome: A.) It’s run by a wonderful, kind, and awesome lesbian couple, one of whom is a breast cancer survivor. B.) It’s in Cleveland, Tennessee. Which means that it’s the only little mecca for gay girls to go in the tristate area. It’s also at the bottom of a hill, which at the top sits a huge Baptist church, which clearly does not make it easy for TBOW’S to keep its doors open. But they persevere and continue giving the gay community a home base. C.) Everyone there, staff and patrons alike, are awesome and sweet and enthusiastic and wonderful.
Needless to say, we had a blast!
Performing with me was the legendary Spikey van Dykey and his paramour Kate, the house queen T'yana Montice, and the little blonde bombshell Martini Monroe!
This is hardly comprehensive, but here’s a little peek of the night!
Yes, she whipped her wig right off!
The show was so much fun, but what made the night so much more special was…BOOBIES! One of the lovely gals who worked at TBOW’s asked me to sign her boob, and before I knew it, I had a line of girls showing me the goods and letting me write my name on ‘em! [including the owner! haha]
Thank you, TBOW’S! You were wonderful. :) <3
But we had to say goodbye and get back on the road! My roadwarrior babe and I headed back to Florida the next day to Incahoots in Jacksonville for the Sunday night White Party! And no lie - the queens and I ended up doing a group number to the Spice Girls “Wannabe”. So even though I was pretty exhausted by this point, it was epic and totally worth it.
And it was almost time to go home, but not quite yet! Kiley and I stayed one more night in Jacksonville, because Monday was the benefit we were holding for Marquis Ocasio’s family. I posted on my blog about it, but basically - my best friend Victor’s 16-year-old nephew was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. After fighting it for more than a year, and seeming to be on the mend, he ended up having to go in for an emergency surgery and he passed unexpectedly.
His family was not only devastated, but totally unprepared for the financial impact of losing a loved one. The last thing that family should have been worrying about then was the cost of burying their child. So! The Norm in Jacksonville offered to throw a benefit show, and Kiley and I had spent the week prior getting donations from businesses, booking entertainers, and promoting the hell out of it.
But Monday we still had a few things to pick up, so off we went to gather the last bits and bobs for the benefit.
We’re on our way back downtown when the A/C in Kiley’s car stops working. Hm. That’s not good, because both Kiley and I hate the heat.
But then the temperature gauge on her car goes all the way over to the RED. Uh oh. So we turn on the heater to cool down the engine just so we can make it to the Norm, which is 10-15 minutes away. And instead of hot air, cold air blasts from the heater. Huh? What the hell is going on?
But then the temperature goes all the way over to the other side of the gauge, so we think maybe! Maybe we’ll be okay and maybe make it!
And then the gauge goes all the way back over to RED, so Kiley takes the first exit off the highway we can find, and then the car completely shuts down. We coast into the parking lot of a strip mall…
and then we see the flames.
Her. Car. Was. ON. FIRE!!!
She, like the pro she is, bursts into action while I freeze for the span of 3 seconds [me: those are flames. coming out of the hood of this car. that’s…that’s not right…?] and then I run off to one of the stores in the strip mall, lookin’ like a crazy person, and demanding they give up their fire extinguisher, all while images of the car exploding and my girlfriend being vaporized are running through my head. I finally get my hands on an extinguisher and rush back to the car.
In the meantime, Kiley got ALL of our stuff out of the car [in like, 30 seconds], and had poured water from our water bottles onto the flames. She grabs the extinguisher from me, and handles that shit, makin’ it rain on those flames and putting out the fire. Like a boss.
And then we looked around, in the eery silence that followed, and realized where we were.
We were in Moncrief, Jacksonville. Which is THE most ghetto, crime-ridden area in all of the metropolitan area. There were bars on every window of every store. And the stores were, not surprisingly, a liquor store, weave store, Chinese fast food restaurant, a Subway, and a Metro PCS store.
I called AAA as a fire truck shows up. The firefighters commended Kiley on her excellent fire fighting skillz, and added some more liquid to the engine, just to ensure everything would stop sizzling. They said they would wait with us for as long as they could, because even the firemen said this was the worst area in which to get stuck. But they got another call in, and had to leave us.
I called my dear friends Jordan and Kacee and told them our car caught on fire. As soon as I said where we were stuck, Jordan says to Kacee, “Get your gun,” and to me, “We’re on our way.”
J & K showed up, and then TWO HOURS LATER, a tow truck showed up to tow the car to a shop. Thanks a lot, AAA.
In the meantime, Jordan took me to pick up a rental car, and then sweaty, exhausted, terrified, and extraordinarily flustered, we all made it to the Norm.
But the benefit was awesome - a huge thanks to the Norm in Jacksonville for letting us use their venue, and to all the entertainers who donated their time. A big hug and kiss to the businesses that donated raffle items, and a mega high-five to all the crazy kids who showed up!
Along with this benefit and an online donation page, the family was able to raise $10,000 to cover all the costs of the burial service.
So even though we were exhausted and OUR CAR CAUGHT ON FIRE IN THE GHETTO, Kiley and I knew we had done a good thing.
We finally made it home that night to Orlando, and thank baby Jesus for that!
So now Kiley is deciding on which car she wants to buy, and because she’s one hella smart girl with a bangin’ job in finance, she’s all like, “Babe, should I get the BMW or the Mercedes?” and I’m all like, “::cutting coupons:: Whatever you want, Rockefeller."
Anyway! So look at us go! Slowly getting you caught up on the past few weeks. Huzzah! Up next: Savannah Pride! Then Orlando Pride! Then Atlanta Pride! gaygaygaygaygaygaygaygaygaygay hooray!