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A Long Overdue Post About a Long Overdue Trip to Wilmington

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This past weekend I went down to see my friends Teri, Niall, and Hershel in Wilmington. The last time I had been there (or to the beach in general) was my Freshman year, and for the same reason. Teri, however, always made a few trips each semester up to Raleigh, so I started feeling bad and promised her that I’d be down there before September was over. I never go back on my word, so when Friday rolls around I come back to my place and pack up. Kieran was going down too. He said we’d leave at 2:30, so by 2:15 I’m sitting in my living room ready to roll. 2:30 comes- “Hey, how about 3?” he texts. Sure. I pick up the Thrasher on my coffee table and read about a trip some company made to Raleigh (I was stoked). It’s 3 now. “Hey, how about 4?” he texts. “What’s up, man?” I text back. “I’ll tell you later” he replies. Eventually, Kieran gets here a bit before 4, after I had memorized every article in my magazine. Apparently he had some things to do…

We hit the road with Kieran driving his Civic, Sharday. You see, most of my friends have names for their cars and I’m no exception- my Saab’s name is Betty. The song of the trip was definitely Surferblood’s “Swim” and it fit the mood perfectly. I was led to believe we were  actually going to surf this time too, but there was no board to be found and no one wanted to shell out the money to rent one. I was bummed. I wanted to surf. I’ve always thought that if I grew up at the beach, I would have been an avid surfer, but I’m sure I’ll get a chance sooner or later to ride some waves. I like being a passenger on trips so I can look at everything. That’s usually my favorite part of a trip anyways- the journey is the reward, so the saying goes. Like always, the Carolina landscape was beautiful- just look at the picture I snagged from the car. I could write full posts about that kind of stuff- sometimes I’ll just sit and think for a full ten minutes about how the sky looks today. It’s a glimpse into the eternal. Anyways, we make it to Teri’s place on the campus of UNCW. She’s an RA and has the sickest dorm/apartment I’ve seen so far. I felt like I was staying at the Marriott or something.

Where else but North Carolina?

We head out that night to downtown with Kieran’s brother Niall, his girl Maddie, and his bro Hershel (and Teri). Again, I was lucky enough to be a passenger and checked out the sights. The ride was long too, so I got ample time to soak in everything. Restored Victorian homes, old churches lit up by flood lights, the battleship North Carolina- I even saw a famous skatespot I had seen in so many videos. I’m sorry I can’t really convey how neat a new place looks when you get there at night and have no idea where you’re going, but I guess everyone knows how that is- it’s got a sort of magic to it.

Kieran doing what he does best: handling balls.

We hit up this place called Fat Tony’s and sat outside with a view of the boats on the inner coastal and some of the hotels glowing with crazy neon lights. Here we started chatting and began putting back the beers (by the pitcher). After this we headed to a place called Firebelly’s, which was in the basement of this building and had a rickety old cellar vibe to it. We switched to liquor and got to playing some pool as Teri ran into some people she knew. My pool skills are still there, and I sank all my balls in what seemed like twelve shots. I even announced to the bar that “I guess I’m just good at putting stuff in holes!” However, my cockiness got the better of me and I scratched on the eight ball. Teri comes back over from doing some kind of communal drink and we start playing darts. After hitting the floor and wall, we zero in and get some decent hits. Now it’s time to hit up a club with some of Teri’s friends. I’m not really a fan of dance clubs, but I was willing to give it another shot. We walk down a few blocks and end up at the entrance to a wide alley. “Olive or Twist” the giant sign said- I thought the name was pretty clever. We get in and the place is pretty hopping. Trippy lights, chicks up on couches, it was a legit club. Like I mentioned above, I’m not too much of a club guy. I think it’s because I just can’t keep dancing for hours on end like everyone else. Luckily, this club had T.V.’s running a skate contest, so I was able to half dance and watch that. After blowing our money (well, the boys’ money that is), we flagged down a taxi and headed on home.

*

The very edge of a vast continent.

As I’ve alluded to before, I have problems sleeping. Usually it’s not too bad, but lately it’s been acting up. So, despite hitting the futon at about 3, I’m up at 8. I had a paper due, so I actually manage to knock out two pages of the “recommended five” before Teri and Kieran wake up. We decide to hit the beach with Niall and his girl. Teri’s leg was hurt, and she also had to stay at her place for RA duty, so we headed out to Wrightsville Beach without her. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go down really- clear skies, high seventies, and the water was just cool enough to be refreshing. We chilled out in the ocean for a while, riding the waves, then came back on shore to hit the volleyball around. Besides skating and a few other recent happenings, this was the most relaxed I had been in a while. I might have to add a beach bungalow to the list of properties I’m going to buy when I become famous. Right now, I’m really digging a small farm along the Yadkin River and a loft in downtown Raleigh- with a bohemian fixer-upper in Glenwood or St.Mary’s as my permanent residence. We packed up and trekked to the car on the other side of the bridge. We’d be returning to the beach later that night, but under much different circumstances.

A few hours later, I’m on a sand dune relieving myself while Kieran paces down the shore. I come down to the water and make a sweeping gesture with my arms. “This is the end of the continent, man. This point right here,” I say pointing to the sand underfoot. “Behind us is thousands of miles and all sorts of history. It all started here.” I really pondered that. I mean, this is the first (or last) step you can take on this massive piece of Earth. Look forward and you see miles of abyss, look behind you and you see a whole continent full of wonder. You become a flea and a titan all at the same time. The road is so long, but you feel like you could scale every canyon and desert in just a few broad steps. It’s an amazing revelation. Then again, I had just done a couple of Jager Bombs and pissed on a sand dune, so perhaps it wasn’t as awe inspiring as I made it out to be.

We ended up on the beach because of what happened a few hours earlier. We (Teri, Kieran, and I) decided to go out with some of her friends to the beach bars, which is apparently a whole different scene from downtown. We went over to these girls’ house and played a drinking game (which I always hate to do, but this one wasn’t too bad) and head out to Red Dog’s. We get out of the cab and head in. The place is completely empty- I have a bad feeling about this. “Up this way, Drew.” I follow the girls upstairs to see a crowded bar with plenty of muscled-out dudes and what I’m certain was a bachelorette party- my bad feeling returns. After chilling for a bit though, I get accustomed. The place actually had plenty of signed skateboards from legit pro skaters. I expected something from Bam Margera and Chad Muska since it was a trendy place, but they had Chad Tim Tim and Mike Vallely’s pro models too, so props Red Dogs. The night wears on and we get to dancing and drinking- one thing I split with the two girlfriends even came in a fishbowl. Again, I’m not much of a dancer, but the crowd forced you to move. Eventually, I got shimmied against my will right behind this blonde girl without any room for the Holy Spirit. She looks back alarmed, studies me a bit, then smiles and goes back to dancing. I was sort of confused at that. A few songs later, including some song about North Carolina (I was stoked), I find Kieran in the chaos and we decide to head out. The girls aren’t having any of that, so me and him are going it alone. We sit outside for a bit deciding how to get a cab with no money. We decide that our answer would certainly come to us on the beach and made our way to the crashing waves. After making my speech about the beach’s magnificence, we look for an ATM and head back to Niall’s place since you need a keycard to open Teri’s room. His room was sick and we hung out for a bit until Teri came back to let us in. The next day I wake up early again. We get breakfast, watch some sort of survival show with Niall, then head out. I type my paper on the car ride back and finish it later that night. And that was my trip to Wilmington, long overdue for certain. I liked it a lot though and wouldn’t mind heading back some time. That’s all for now. Thanks to Teri and Niall and Maddie and Hershel  for a pleasant stay!

Listen to This: “The Pursuit of Vikings”- Amon Amarth, “Raise Up (North Carolina)”- Petey Pablo, “Swim”- Surfer Blood

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Written by dstclaire

September 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

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