THE TRIP: DAY 11

July 21, 2005

Exhaustion isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind. I finished with Bubba just as last night was turning into this morning. I fell asleep a few hours later with FoxNews blasting over the A/C. While on the road, I’m trying to remain informed in lieu of disconnected.

“HOUSEKEEPING!”
“UNNGGGGGGH”
“HOUSEKEEPING!”
“UNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGH”
“HOUSEKEE-”
“PRIVACY PLEASE!”
“OKAY”

Someone had stolen the Room 420 courtesy card from my door. The wrapping at my chamber door stirred me from slumber, leaving me unable to close my eyes and drift back to sleep. I headed a few blocks to downtown Dallas. I turned from Market onto Elm and drove the final route JFK traveled on November 22nd, 1963. As a self-proclaimed history nerd, visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and witnessing firsthand the site was undeniably surreal.

Parked and walked around the plaza. There are two X‘s that mark the spots where Kennedy was hit. I walked the “grassy knoll” to shoot some photos of cars passing by. The museum doesn’t allow photography inside, but you can take photos of the exterior. Inside, the window where Oswald supposedly fired from is sectioned off. You can look out over the plaza from the neighboring window. I walked behind the wooden fence, and, from what I saw, it would have been much easier to fire from the knoll and score a direct hit than from the 6th floor window, which has various trees in the way. The railyard where the supposed second gunman retreated to still stands and is operational. A very memorable way to end my stay in Dallas.

The drive to Austin should have taken 3 hours but I didn’t arrive until maybe 4:30 due to devastating and depressing amounts of accidents and construction. The ride was interesting. Not the most scenic or beautiful, but quaint.

DRIVE TO AUSTIN WITH WILL OLDHAM

Entering Austin took over an hour due to traffic. While parked in gridlock, I flirted with the two girls in front of me. They had a Florida license plate and they opened the moon roof to stand and wave or wiggle their toes at me. We went back and forth making faces. It passed the time, but eventually all good things must come to an end. I exited onto Cesar Chavez and made my way to the Hampton Inn, by far the nicest place I’ve stayed yet. Why do I always look like I’ve just been arrested or something?

Arrived and showered. Left to explore 6th Street and walked the duration of the strip untold number of times over the span of 5 hours. I tried to drink in as many different places as possible. The Pub names I remember include: The Library, Shakespeare’s, The Blind Pig, Hot Shots, Maggie Mae’s, Jazz on 6th, The Chugging Monkey. I stopped by Emo’s to see if Graham (booking) was in, but he only works during days. I’ll call tomorrow.

6th Street is like sensory overload. There’s so much happening and so many places with live music and cheap, cheap alcohol that it’s impossible to resign yourself to one destination. I tried to soak in a few of the local artists but most of them were cover bands. There wasn’t anything to keep my attention so I floated. Thursday’s special seemed to be $1 domestic bottles and drafts. I drank. A lot. I spoke with a few people but nothing too exciting. By the time it got to be 12, 12:30 I had to find the strength to carry myself 3 blocks down San Jacinto back to my room. Here I sit anticipating a very solid night of sleep.

car music:
Bedhead – Transaction de Novo
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
Gang of Four – Solid Gold
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Honey’s Dead
Will Oldham – Joya
The Palace Brothers – Days in the Wake
Public Image Ltd. – Second Edition
Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island

3 comments

  1. ian
    |

    Gotta love the drunk voice mails every nite. Please keep it coming, hopefully ill save them all for u to hear when u get back. Then u’ll realize how truly sad and happy you are at the same time……

  2. Melissa
    |

    i feel that your photography “skills” have suddenly improved in leaps and bounds. maaaaaybe it’s because at least HALF of the photos in this entry are in focus. maybe…

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