Friday, August 2, 2013

Vacay 2013, Day One

This is a real thing, I'm about to tell you.  I didn't make it up.  It's real. They have a business license and everything.  We were headed to the Wimington Serpentarium (don't ever go there), and they are cash-only, so we went to the shop that is essentially next door, although you have to round the corner and go in from the other street, to use the ATM inside.  And this shop?  The one I didn't believe?  It's an oxygen bar.

Oxygen. Bar.

Perhaps you've heard of it.  Perhaps it is I who is so naive to the ways of the world--or the ways of people who have money to spend on such frivolity--but myself, I had no idea such a thing existed.

So here's the scoop.  They have a lovely and restful space--like what you find at a spa or massage place--and over on the left is a tall, wide table, with a row of bottles filled with liquid.  They are flavored?  Or are they scented?  With things like "springtime breeze" and "watermelon kiwi."  The plastic tubing runs into the bottle, pushes O2 through the springtime breeze, and out the other tube, which ended in a coupler.  Presumably, when you purchase your minutes, you get a clean cannula for your own nose to attach to the scent/flavor of your choice.

Nearby is a flyer with "O2 facts," and it is probably this that bothered me the most.  I mean, hey, if you want to hang out, breathing oxygen when it's not medically prescribed, and you think it helps with something, go for it.  After all, Michael Jackson, that bastion of sanity and health, used to walk around with an oxygen thingy.  You're not weird.  (And seriously, I feel a little guilty even writing this, because, honestly, if you like it, and you feel better, go for it.  I mean, I am a fan of Reiki, energy work, crystal therapy, and all that.  So yeah, this really isn't that weird.). But it's the fake science that wigs me out.  The fact sheet had incorrect facts on it, but also led you to believe, in that passive aggressive way of setting up incorrect conclusions from spurious data, that we were all slowly dying of oxygen deprivation, and a few minutes at an (pay-by-the-minute) oxygen bar would save our lives.

Then I remembered pages from the Bill Bryson book I just read where he describes the advent of refined sugar--people ate it till it blackened their teeth, and then having blackened teeth became a sign of wealth and prosperity.

So in some future book about life in the 21st century, an author will describe these oxygen bars as an example of how the rich showed off their wealth--they preferred their air watermelon kiwi scented. To breathe unscented air was just so gauche.

Unfortunately, I imagine we will HAVE TO breathe special air soon enough, and then I will feel extra bad about this blog.

But more importantly, we went to lunch with our friend Dave, and he took us all around Wilmington, filling us in on the history of the area. I love love LOVE the architecture of Wilmington. The houses are so beautiful, and we promised ourselves we would return to Wilmington for a weekend and make it a photographic journey. It is just so beautiful there.

We watched the paddle wheel river cruise boat go by, saw the horse-drawn carriages in town, walked by the old slave market, and I was drawn, as I always am, to the history and Americana of these river towns.  I love to imagine the lives spent here when the water was the access to the world.

I like to think of the absolutely vital supplies being delivered, how people counted on the shipments coming in time.  And I like to compare that to the richest of the people, who had more frivolous deliveries, like fine silks or expensive furnishings.  The equivalent, I suppose, of the oxygen bar up the street.

As I write this, NASA is moving its next Mars mission toward the launch pad for deployment this fall.  It has a cross-country journey ahead of it, in the belly of an Air Force cargo jet, before its big journey to Mars.  And I am thinking of how we will one day have "ports" on other planets, and how the lives there will turn on the supplies delivered.  For me, it will be the chocolate, and perhaps the eggplant, and maybe sweet potatoes.  The way certain things taste a certain way, and they are surely not going to be able to replicate the American sweet potato on Martian soil. Clothes, furnishings, and other non-edible stuff--I can adapt. But the flavors of home--that's what I would miss.

And here in Cape Carteret, we just purchased our annual Bogue Sound watermelon. They are truly special. I don't really like watermelon--never have (unless you're talking jolly rancher, in which case watermelon was da bomb)--but the Bogue Sound watermelon is a thing all its own.  It's on ice right now as I sit on the porch of Bill and Frances, feeling the ocean-past-the-island-and-over-the-sound breeze brush past my sandy toes. Now, this is air I would pay for.

No comments:

Post a Comment