I didn't leave Carlsbad until 8 pm and still had to driveway halfway across Texas to get to Austin by morning, before Jessica left for work. I don't know what delirious part of me thought that this was a good idea. Probably the part of me that remembers driving 12 hours to Taylor, from 5 pm to 5 am, a DECADE ago, before I became suddenly and inexplicably old and weary.
The first couple of hours were on a very dark and very lonely prairie road. Along the side of the road I saw two foxes, four deer (three living and one on his way to a better place,) five cows grazing RIGHT on the side of the road, and innumerable rabbits. I am astonished I made it through the night without killing another living thing.
By 11 I was already tired and kind of cranky. I decided to stop and get some coffee at the Sonic in Pecos, Texas. (Jessica: "It's pronouned 'PuhAYcuss'.") I thought it might be closed at 11 pm, but au contraire, mon frere, it was JUMPING. It was THE place to go in Pecos in the middle of the night. I saw several people in cowboy hats. I wanted to take their picture but I decided not to get pounded. (Jessica: "Wise decision.") So I just ordered my "java chiller" and popcorn chicken from two surly teenage girls who neither spoke nor smiled and was on my way.
The coffee helped for about an hour. I stopped worrying about hitting rabbits and tore along singing David Garza at the top of my not-that-great voice. Then I hit another wall and really thought maybe I should just stop in Ft. Stockton. I would have, too, but I couldn't get anyone in Ft. Stockton on the phone. So I decided to keep going, especially since Isaac said I could buy this new and fun summer bag if I didn't stop and spend the money on a hotel. I listened to "On the Road" to stay awake. The thing is, "On the Road" is actually pretty boring. Later this weekend I listened to it on my ipod to put myself to sleep.
I thought I would have some respite at 1 when Tim called to talk over our New Orleans script. But I've had terrible reception on the road, and our conversation went like this...
Tim: I've been thinking about the beginning of the script, and I realized that -
Michelle: Hello? Are you still there?
iPhone: Call failed. Call back?
Michelle: Hey, sorry, the call dropped.
Tim: It's ok, I was just saying that I was thinking about the beginning of the script, and -
Michelle: I bet if I could hear you I would think what you were saying was really smart.
iPhone: Call failed. Call back?
Michelle: Sorry again.
Tim: It's ok, I'm just driving too. So anyway my genius solution for that problem we were discussing is -
iPhone: Call failed. Just give up, you know you want to.
Michelle: You don't know what I want.
Tim's Phone: Ring, ring, ring.
Tim: (asleep in bed with his wife) That's just Michelle calling from somewhere in Texas. Just hit ignore.
The drive was made worse by the fact that the highway, which normally has an 80 mph speed limit, ratchets all the way down to 65 mph at night. And the last time I was in Texas - on my way to Austin in fact - eight years ago, these two cowboy cops stopped me and gave me a ticket for going 72 in a 70. SEVENTY-TWO IN A SEVENTY. I hated them so much. So now I'm kind of terrified of Texas cops and I went 65 the entire night, even though I barely saw another car, let alone a cop car, the whole time.
After what felt like half my life, I pulled up to Jessica's apartment in downtown Austin at about 6, catching her before she left for work. She had made up a little air mattress for me in her room, which I was so, so happy to see. I don't know if I was totally coherent. I stumbled into some loungy clothes and fell asleep, totally ignoring her cats who were scratching at the bedroom door and wondering why I was ignoring them, and slept until 4:30, when Jessica got home from work. It was amazing. We went out and got some food at a casual Japanese dining establishment and then sat on her little patio-ish type thing and talked and drank beer with orange slices in it, which is some great Texas secret. I don't even like beer and I kind of liked it. It still took me like two hours to drink one glass, but what can you do.
The last time I was in Austin, it was 115 degrees outside and all Jessica and I could bring ourselves to do was go to Dairy Queen and get ice cream ("I'll always have a place at the DQ.") So every time she's like, "Austin is God's kingdom on earth," I've had to beg to differ. But this time, I have to say, I have find quite a few delightful things.
A few highlights of my weekend...
Fried avocado stuffed with chicken and cheese and topped with sour cream. WHAT!?
Really fun coffeehouses with free wifi and interesting music...
... at which I worked on my blog and Jessica watched videos...
...of fainting goats...
...and laughing babies.
A massage for my poor, poor aching neck from a guy named Slate.
Game night with people from Jessica's church.
Trying to go hear music on 6th Street with Jessica's friend Brie, but actually just wandering around for an hour.
Vending machines with candy, coke, and independent music!
Brie giving Jessica directions to a place called Smoke 'n' Os.
Jessica feeling skeptical of Brie's directions.
Jessica disregarding the lessons learned by her friend Michelle.
Brie getting directions to Smoke 'n' Os.
Arriving at Smoke 'n' Os.
Fruit punch hookah.
Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas.
Texan table decorations.
The most amazing brisket sandwich ever.
My new favorite bar...
...with free wifi! Nothing like a Bailey's and a blog.
In Christ Alone
2 years ago