I've been really feeling the need lately to really sit at this thing and write something, as opposed to just posting pictures. It's hard to do here, partly because I don't really have anywhere that's actually private in which to do it, and I'm very shy about anyone being able to see what I'm doing if I'm doing something like writing in this stupid blog. Matt & Angela's house is always nice for writing, but it takes away from my socializing.
Speaking of them, I had, of course, a lovely time at their place again last Saturday. Matt's parents were there as well, so I got to have dinner with all of them Saturday night before I headed back to camp. His father has recently gotten into counseling (he does the counseling; he's also an M.D.), so I talked to him for a long time about that, and about different theories and ideas. It was great; I could have talked to him all night.
Sunday evening I drove back to Asheville yet again to see my parents. They're attending a church conference in Chattanooga this week, so hopped over here to see me. On Monday we toured the Biltmore, which was fucking incredible, if a bit overstimulating. And we were there for, like, 5 hours, touring the house, touring the grounds and gardens, eating lunch, shopping. Monday night we went to downtown Asheville and walked around a bit (I still can't get over how much I love downtown Asheville, and how awesome I think it is), and went to a really cool little pizza place that Matt recommended. They just so happened to be having a little trivia game that night, so my family and I jumped in and ended up coming in second! We were very impressed with ourselves. So we won a $15 gift certificate that I'm going to give to Matt. The third place team left and didn't claim their prize, so the guy heading up the trivia came over and gave us their prize too, which was a set of 4 bar-glasses with their logo on them. They're cute. I stole one, so my parents won't have a complete set, but whatever. I wanted one.
At 6:30 Tuesday morning, we left Asheville, and my parents drove me back to camp. It was hard to come back; I still don't really feel very settled here, but once I'm actually back, it's easier. It's the coming back that's hard. Being somewhere like this sort of drives home to me how disconnected I seem to feel so much of the time from other people. Granted, almost everyone here is quite a bit younger than I am, and the people that are my age have all known each other for years. But Charlotte is great. At dinner last night I asked if anyone would have any desire whatsoever to go see Hostel 2 with me, and everyone wrinkled their noses except Charlotte, who got excited and said she would "love to." So I think we're gonna try to sneak out one of these nights and go see it. (Which isn't why I think she's great, that's just one thing that makes me happy.) A couple other people here, too, are really cool, but I don't talk with them much. My professor's niece, Annie, that's a counselor is awesome, too. She just turned 19, but acts like she's 30, and she's super sweet. Which doesn't surprise me. Unfortunately, she's leaving this Saturday for good because something came up that she has to attend to.
Some pictures Charlotte took of me and Annie when we went mountain biking together the other day:
I have no idea what I'm doing in this picture.
Anyway, things are okay. I've really been wanting to write a big entry about Flannery O'Connor lately, but I just can't seem to collect my thoughts enough to do it. But being in the mountains, in her part of the country (sort of) and reading a lot of her in one sitting is weird. She gets me thinking like few writers do. Which is why I think I'm having a hard time writing about her: I have no idea what I actually think of her. I'm interested, and her writing alternately fascinates and totally creeps me out. Anyway, more on this later.
Yesterday I stepped on a snake, but we both escaped unharmed. And then today, on the Pigeon River, I was barefoot, stepping over rocks, and almost put my foot down right on top of a snake with his head sticking out of the water. That freaked me out a little.