Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Dave and I had been missing one another in an attempt to connect for about two weeks. I needed to gush over his recent engagement, and he needed to tell me all about it. So, I'm in Austin for the conference with the family, and miss a phone call and a text telling me how lame I am, again, because I'm not picking up the phone.
I send a note back that I'm in Austin, bla, bla, bla, and get a message back, I'll be in Austin tonight! What the heck are the chances of that?!
I met Dave after the final performance and cocktail party down on 6th street. This was great for a couple of reasons. The obvious: Getting to hang out on a total whim with one of my best friends. But also, it was great to see a side of the city I'd surely have missed had he not been there. It was a zoo down there. We hung out in this little dive (they all seemed like dives actually) called Lovejoy, and I got to hear in person how the whole thing happened. We'd talk for a while and then stare and each other in disbelief at the chance and luck we were sitting there together. It felt both perfectly normal and spectacular at the same time.
I should describe the scene a little. Or the bathroom in the place. Gross. It has been a long time since I walked into a bathroom and felt an immediate need to do an about face. I don't know if I ever have actually. I was so taken aback by it, stood there for a sec wondering what I should do, then I went for it.
It was funny when the parents came in to say Hi, the stark contrast between them and everyone else. It was funny the contrast between myself in my black trench coat, scarf and pants, and all these grungy "kids". I still don't get if they were college students or what. Major tattoos, dread locks, piercings. There were t-shirts and souvenirs in the airport with the saying, Keep Austin Weird. I don't think they need to worry about it. Being out at night in that crowd was stimulating, and almost scary. Bands blared from every open door and window. There were cops everywhere, with big guns drawn after the bars closed. I kept trying to add 50,000 people to what I was witnessing, imagining what it had been like the week before for SXSW.
We got tacos from a street vendor and walked back to our hotels 4 blocks away, and 1/2 a block from one another. What a cap to an already terrific night. I still can barely believe the luck, although at the same time, I can.
The image above is from Katy Elliot, and while it has nothing to do with this story, I think it's so amazing how our paths intersect with each other, so there's the tie. Also, isn't this a cool way to do a walkway? I love it. It makes me want to turn my backyard into a little zen wonderland. Maybe some day.