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2001-07-02 - 3:49 p.m.

Nothing quite lived up to expectations this weekend, or perhaps my expectations were too high. I was busy, but still in bed by a decent hour every night, and the weekend was long, because I worked at home on Friday while my car was in the shop. Or tried to work, rather; I finished the work I had brought home in less than an hour, so I did the dishes and cleaned my room and met Stuart for lunch, and walked to campus, and visited Gary, and walked back home, burning my shoulders along the way. That night was a party at Rick Linklater’s place in Bastrop. Someone once said his place was a cross between Waco and Disneyland; there’s a cabin, and a house, and a pond, a swimming pool, go-carts, a softball field. I’d been once before, last Labor Day, with Anne, when it was 107 degrees, and even the water in the pool was tepid. Stuart was a last minute invite, and he drove me there (about 40 minutes outside of Austin) on his motorcycle, which may have been the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done. He outfitted me in a long sleeve jacket and gloves and a helmet that muffled the world around me. I hopped on back, and clung to him for dear life (and panicked when I wondered what would happen if I stopped holding on), and he took the back way, past small towns and churches and fields and cows. It was strange to be so close to everything, and not hermetically sealed up in a car. The party was okay, in that there was free food, and I played badminton and went swimming and jumped on the trampoline and ate ice cream. But there weren’t enough famous people there to impress Stuart (although I was impressed that John Pierson was there), and we left early. The best part of the evening was the motorcycle ride home; I was sleepy and dreamy from my one glass of red wine, and relaxed my death grip on Stuart, and if I tilted my head just the right way, heavy from the helmet, I could see the moon high up in the sky.

Saturday night was Christina and Carey’s long-awaited wedding. It was very pretty to look at. John (Elk Boy) performed the ceremony, looking beneficently down at the crowd, a half-smile on his face. Christina looked beautiful, and Carey looked beautiful, and the church was beautiful, and part of me wanted to cry when they repeated their vows, and part of me just felt really really cynical. And then there was the reception, but Salvatore wouldn’t dance, and not many other people danced either, even though there was a 10-piece band on stage. I drank, and Sal drank, and we hid at our table with Amy and Chris, and I spoke to Allison for a while, which I always do when I see her, even though I know we’ll never be friends again. I think Sal must have gotten depressed, even though he didn’t act like it, because we left after the cake was served, and he asked that I stop at a convenience store on the way home, so he could buy beer. I was home by 11:15 pm, still slightly tipsy, and sweaty, and bored. No one had called, and I thought about walking over to Fuzz Club, but it seemed like such an effort to do something all by myself. It was much easier to crawl into bed and go to sleep.

I tried to sleep late on Sunday morning, but it’s hard to sleep late when you don’t stay up late, and when thunder is rumbling in the distance, and you wake up and drift back to sleep and wake again, tangled in the sheets, tossing and turning, bed creaking. So I got up and got some water and sat on the porch and watched the storm come in and read Ulysses and balanced my checkbook. It’s quiet on a Sunday morning, and the air was gray, and no one on my street was up. I had the storm to myself.

But I wanted to talk after a while, and I thought I should call somebody. And I thought of who I should call, and then I thought I’d call Trey. I thought that was probably a bad idea, but I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head. So I called. And I almost hung up when it started ringing, but that would not have been smart, as he has caller ID. But he answered the phone, even though he knew who was calling, and we had a really nice conversation. Our last conversation ended badly, and was followed by a few misinterpreted emails, and I’d been wanting to call to make amends. It seems like a very long time ago that he was part of my life. We spent such a very long time pretending; it was nice not to pretend, to just talk to each other, to just be friends, with no anger, and no recriminations. I perhaps told him more than I should, about Gary, and this site (although not the url), and he said, “I want to say something but I can’t.” And I made him tell me, and he said, “I always said you’d be a good writer.” I used to get mad when he said that, because he had no proof, and then I really was tempted to give him the url, because maybe, just maybe, this site might be proof, not necessarily that I was a good writer, but at least that I was trying, finally. And I tried to deny that I had called because Gary and I broke up, although I’m sure that was a factor, and he told me he had broken up with his girlfriend, and that’s why he had called me in May, and he said that we should try to be friends even when we’re in relationships. I said that would be nice.

That night, I saw Slacker at the Paramount; it was the 10-year anniversary of its release, and the cast and crew had assembled for a reunion. I rented the movie a few years ago, before I moved to Austin. I think I fell asleep while we were watching it, and my sisters got mad at me afterwards for renting it at all. But I was mesmerized last night, at the people and places I recognized, and the fact that this was all done by people not unlike me at all. And part of it made me feel sad, and part of it made me feel nostalgic for something that I’ve still never experienced, and part of me had a smile on my face the entire time I watched it. The after party was at Antone’s, and Carole and I went, and waited for Daniel Johnston to play. We had to wait a while, but he finally came on stage, looking nervous, while the crowd talked during his first two songs, and he couldn’t seem to make the lyrics match his guitar playing. He relaxed after a while, and even encouraged the crowd to sing along with the chorus: “Oh, oh, oh, bloody rainbow.” And I thought, only Daniel Johnston can get a crowd to sing the phrase “bloody rainbow.”

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