Alright. Am on Round Two of the book tour, this time doing the deep South. Today and tomorrow I’m in Birmingham, then Greenwood, Missisippi, Memphis then Nashville. Alan was going to come, but couldn’t last minute because of a rapidly advancing deadline on a magazine story he’s writing.
We’d been planning to go to the Highlands Bar & Grill, which is Frank Stitt’s restaurant. I decided that even though Alan wasn’t with me, I’d go sit at the bar and eat dinner. Well, the dinner was absolutely fantastic. Some of the best food I’ve ever had. (Oysters with country ham and spinach, fresh asparagus with crawfish and eggs from the Highlands farm, homemade strawberry sorbet.) But the men surrounding me–good Lord. You could have heard the Jaws soundtrack. Apparently youngish women don’t often eat alone at the bar of the Highlands Bar & Grill. These dudes were innocuous–and kind of funny, I guess–but they had some boundary issues.
I rolled with the punches, didn’t take their shit but wasn’t unfriendly, and in general warded off anything too intense. But I came home exhuasted, like I’d just been at battle. I really do love the south, but I’ve got to say, both in NY and San Francisco, a woman can eat alone at a bar and, well, eat. Not have to play defense.
And now it’s off to bed. I have a 5am television interview tomorrow morning. Yes. 5 am.
Double le sigh. (But also, le exciting! I get to be on the tee-vee!)