So humid the lens fogs up. Over a hundred degrees. ‘No produce,’ Hurricane Florence hit last year and “Got ‘em good.” Wiped out a lot of greenhouses. Ordering at Chick Fil-A. Paula: “Got a name?” I don’t even get a chance to say my name before a Confident Man chimes in. Confident Man: “Paula, you already got a name. Now you tryin’ to take this poor boy’s name.” Trance state whooped me good, felt heavy and sleepy. Sun beating down. Arrived in Raleigh around 2:30, walked around Boylan Heights.
We took video and sound at the marina before checkout. The lens kept fogging in the humidity. Continental breakfast. No produce in New Bern. Only flowers. The hurricane wiped out all the crop. Next year’s, too, maybe. I asked if we could make a recording. Beverly, the attendant, said we could do whatever we want. We were disappointed that her dog stopped barking during the take. 102 degrees, full sun. We drove until we started seeing familiar fast food chains. Andy started experiencing road trance so we stopped for Starbucks drinks in cans. Once we got to Raleigh, Andy kept driving in whichever direction I pointed. AirBnb woes. Called our moms one by one to ask them what they think we should do. They said: have fun, have a salad for dinner, go swimming, visit every library, feed bread to ducks, swing on swings, go ice skating. Found a room to sleep in, in Boylan Heights. Walked our neighborhood for the night. We set a timer for around the time we should stake out a shot of the sunset. Seems customary in the South to provide porta johns for the men doing the renovation on your home. A kid tried to give us $10 to take a photo of him for his Instagram. Says he just moved to town. He emptied his pockets for the picture. Andy didn’t take the money. We agreed later to have both felt the strange anxiety that he was going to jump off the overpass--leaving us with his belongings and his phone in our hands. He didn’t. He got back onto the motorscooter and disappeared from view. Cleaned ourselves up to eat our first (and only) meal of the day. SoCa. “South of the Caribbean.” We sat outside, didn’t drink, and had four small plates. Our waitress practically sat at our table. She was curious about us, and us, her. She’s from South Carolina. Working in service allowed her to transfer to Raleigh. Conversation about navigation technology prompted her to ask how old we are. I asked her name and she said, “Cecelia--why, are you going to put me in your project?” I paid the bill and when she came back with the customer copy she started in with, “Alright Johnson family vacation...” It was fifteen past close and her manager was growing hostile. Getting just enough sleep to wake up for sunrise at Dorthia Dix Park.