Every time I get an out-of-town visitor I secretly pray they will fall in love with Roanoke and will stay here forever with me. Sadly that hasn't happened so far. I have another shot when my cousin from NYC rides Amtrak into Lynchburg. I hope his train ride is better than the Greyhound bus horror he experienced the last time he came here, 13 years ago. 13 years. That's how long it's taken him to get over his "Grapes of Wrath" experience. I don't know how I talked him into coming back and I figure he's gotta be damned depressed to finally agree. It's the midwinter madness.
Poor fool thinks it's going to be hot since he's coming to "The South." Haha! I told him we've probably had more snow here this year than he's had up in New York. Well, "had" since New York is getting hammered right now. He called to find out if we were getting much. Thankfully nothing but God awful winds, ice cold blasts not warm breezes. He hears Virginia and he's thinking hoop skirts, warm sunshine, magnolia trees and iced tea. Wrong. At least not in February.
As I do to every New Yorker that ventures my way, I begged him to bring cookies. "What they don't have bakeries in Roanoke?" Well, no, they actually don't, unless you count cupcakes and I don't. I'm talking more Fancy cookies, like the ones you see at Fresh Market, but taste good. Please bring me some 7-layers, pignoli and sesame seed cookies. I'll forgo the sharp provolone cheese and garlic, cheese & parsley sausage rings...bad for the diet anyway.
Actually more than any foodstuffs, I just want him here. It's been a long time since I hung out with a friend, laughed at nothing, stayed up late, and just had fun. I miss not having someone here who understands me, who puts up with me, who's not afraid of me, someone who hears me when I don't say a word. I miss playing Skipbo, Trivial Pursuit, Boggle, and Pictionary. I miss having someone who's not afraid to take out the video camera, record a skit with me and then put it on YouTube. I miss someone who shares my music tastes and past.
I can't wait to have someone here who will read my manuscript and tell me the truth, the real truth, even if it hurts me...someone who will look beyond bad grammar and tell me if my words want to make them read on or not, if I told the story.
I hope Amtrak doesn't get screwed up. I hope Roanoke doesn't screw up. This one I want to keep here.