Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nashville: Honky Tonk at the Lipstick Lounge

Ten hours later, we had arrived in Nashville, Tennessee and were both delirious from lack of sleep. The only highlights from the trip was that Jordan and I had to pee back to back of a random restaurant called The Old House at three in the morning because we couldn't find an open restroom. 

This pit stop saved my bladder. 
A week earlier Jordan and I had set up Couchsurfing profiles online so that we could do a cross-country trip without the cost of hotels or motels. I had heard from others who swore by the site, and thought that this would be the perfect chance to give it a try. The way that Couchsurfing (CS) worked, was that it was basically a social media network– much like Facebook, where users would create their own profiles. CS obviously focused more on each individual person's travels, their experience with the website, and what they hope to learn/share with other couch surfers.

Now on CS you were either a surfer, or a host. Jordan and I were surfers, and we had sent out a ridiculous number of requests for people to host us. Unfortunately, we had also received a ridiculous number of rejections. We got so many that Jordan and I started sending each other screen shots from our phones of the rejections.

"I don't understand– is it me?! I've never been denied so much in my entire life!" I told Jordan exasperatedly a few days earlier.

As it turns out, there is a part of CS where people can get or give references, which is posted on their profile and says what a good surfer/host they were, how they took them to this awesome bar or made them this delicious dinner. The reference can be positive or negative, though you hardly saw any that were the latter. Basically it was like points proving that said person wasn't a complete weirdo or wasn't going to rob you blind. Since Jordan and I were newbies to the website, we of course, had no references besides the ones that we gave ourselves.

Just when we were getting desperate, we had a host bite. Her name was Jackie, and she wasn't going to be out of work until four. It was 11:00. So we decided to go to Downtown Nashville and explore the city in the meantime. 

The famous and historic Printers Alley, known for its nightclubs and bars. 

On one hand it was nice finally stretching our limbs after a long drive. On the other hand it didn't even matter because we were both basically functioning like zombies. We literally ate our lunch in almost complete silence. I had been awake for a full 24 hours now and it was horrible. What was more horrible was the ridiculous heat (keep in mind that this was the end of July). 

Jordan's zombie face whilst walking around Downtown Nashville.

Finally 4:00 rolled around and we drove to her address. I started getting worried that we were about to show up in the hood after we passed by our third Church's Chicken, but it turned out to be a cute little cottage with hearts on the door.

Jackie came out of the door to greet us. She was a cute and bubbly brunette who had a big smile and hugged us right away. The house was adorable– decorated with vintage cameras, DIY furnishings and abstract paintings that Jackie's roommate, Chrissy, did. I wanted it to be my home. And I guess it was, I reminded myself, for the next three days.

Jackie showed us around the house, then lead us to the backyard to a picnic blanket under a tree with DIY lights hanging from it. She told me that she loved that I was a feminist, that she was too and we started chatting about general beliefs and philosophies. 

I was ecstatic. Not only was Jackie a feminist but so was her roommate Chrissy. Jackie also called herself a secret dirty hippy because she didn't shave her legs and was a vegan, but Chrissy was a spitfire redhead who planned on changing her name to reestablish herself as an artist and painter. 

After we all chatted some more, Jackie proceeded to make us an all vegan dinner which was AMAZING, and invited some of her friends over to go out with us that night. By that point, Jordan and I had rallied and was at the point of complete exhaustion that we actually believed we were wide-awake and could stay awake forever. Hell, we had made it to 30 hours after all.

We all squeezed into two cars and headed to a gay karaoke bar. It also happened to be lesbian night. Naturally.

I had never seen so many hot, sweaty and drunk lesbians all in one place as much as I did at this place. It was called The Lipstick Lounge, which painted a different picture in my mind before I walked in, but after my Gay and Lesbian Literature class, I should have known better. I think when we walked in the woman onstage was singing Alanis Morrisette, "Ironic."

To sum up the night, Jordan drank a lot of Redbull vodkas and I bonded with Stephanie, a friend of Jackie's, who said she was planning to move to LA too, oddly enough. Chrissy took the house down with "Pump up the Jam," and Jackie questioned if I was ever a lesbian before. 

A little bit blurry, but Chrissy (left) and Todd (right),  singing karaoke at the Lipstick Lounge. 

By the time we got back to the cottage, which Jackie and Chrissy deemed the "Dollhouse," I had been awake for almost 40 hours straight. I took over their other roommate's bed (who coincidentally was currently in jail for a DUI) and passed out quicker than I probably have my entire life. 

Nashville: 1. Me: 0. 

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