The waiter, a quite remarkable Wayne Brady look-alike, smiled at me as he brought me my second glass of wine and nodded at my empty plate, as if to confirm that I was done picking at the bits of garlic fries stuck to the plate's bottom.
"Will you be having any dessert, ma'am?" he asked.
"Oh no," I involuntarily rubbed my belly in a gesture of complete and utter fullfillment, "No, I really don't believe I have any room left for dessert."
"Very well, the wine is the dessert then."
I took a sip of my Chardonnay - it cost me a pretty penny but was well worth it. Without being a wine connoisseur, I could tell from the first moment the alcohol touched my lips that it wasn't just another measly $12 dollar bottle of white wine I had grown so accustomed to. This was the kind of wine they invented the word "palette" for - all of my senses were alive and present for the tasting. Taking another sip (more of a gulp really), I looked outside at the passerbys on the street.
I heard a medley of Southern accents, I saw a variety of cowboy hats of all sizes and colors, I heard banjos being played by the street musicians - melodies mixing with the sounds of Ray Charles coming from the jukebox of the restaurant I chose for dinner. I felt the urge to capture every moment, feeling immense happiness for having experienced the joy of this Friday in Nashville and the sadness knowing that I would never be able to share this precise moment with anyone else. This experience is solely mine for the taking.
These are the moments, when I am away from everyone I know, exploring a new city - these are the moments that I wish I could share with a lover. These are the moments that find me the most vulnerable but also the most stripped away from all pretenses, with my guard taken down and with an almost child-like thirst for adventure. This is the side of me that doesn't come out to play too often but it is the part of me I would love to share with a significant other... when the time is right.
It is cities like Nashville, cities that are full of heart and soul and history, that I visit from time to time that make my heart skip and beat and make me believe that I can really trade the comforting anonymity of a big city for a welcoming embrace of a Southern music town. It is cities like Nashville that make me want to trade in my power suit and Marc Jacobs shades for a simple sundress and a pair of cowgirl boots.
It is cities like Nashville that convince me, again and again, that as long as I live I will never settle for something that doesn't make me happy. Even if not settling means searching for happiness for the rest of my life, I would rather die trying than give up and become complacent with the mediocrity of the every day.
Just let me pause for a second and finish this glass of wine. Then, I am back on the road again until I can walk no more.