FAILURE AND NONSENSE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
The other day I went to Austin for a vacation.
I hadn’t really planned on anything, but I’d requested the days because I knew I’d need a few off just to be somewhere else. I picked Austin because I knew a few people there, it’s a cool place, and it was far enough to get away from everyone here, but close enough to drive in a day.
I’d tried to see if anybody wanted to hang around, but was shunned like a leper. Everyone who knew me well knew they could find better things to do than go to bars with me. I ended up having to contact a friend of a friend, hereon referred to as Friend, who agreed to show me around the town of which I didn’t know elbow from asshole.
I left around midnight after I got off work. It was mostly uneventful. I hadn’t slept much the night before, and I started to get drowsy right around morning, so I had to pull off on the side of the road and nap. Which was fine, except that I didn’t notice I’d left my headlights on and had to walk back to town to find a mechanic to jump me off and charge up my battery. But that’s another story for another time.
I made it into Austin fine, and hadn’t made reservations and didn’t have any preference of where to stay, so I just kind of wandered around the different parts of the city in my car, pretty much everywhere but downtown.
Never in my life have I seen so many UT students, all walking around in burnt orange, and never before have I seen so many UT grads, all standing on street corners holding up signs. Maybe I just haven’t been to the right places of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, etc., but Austin really seems to attract the homeless population.
When I mentioned this to Friend later, he suggested that Austin is much more tolerant of them than those cities, but then he quickly pointed out that statistically, conservatives give more for charity than liberals so the homeless would probably be better off somewhere else.
Friend is a staffer in the State Capitol, but more on this later.
So I really had no place to be and nowhere to go, but I was getting drowsy again and decided to find some place to stay. I went back to I-35, which runs right beside the downtown of Austin, and pulled into the first Motel 6 I saw. This was a little bit after noon, so I congratulated myself on getting a full 24 hours out of what I had to pay.
I hadn’t given Friend much warning, I just texted him when I was close to town, but he said when he got off work in the late evening, we could meet at such and such bar. That sounded fine. I went to sleep.
I woke up about 6 p.m. or so, watched TV a bit, started to masturbate to my reflection in the mirror then remembered I was in a hotel and came on the floor. It was tile, so even fapper’s remorse wasn’t that bad.
I decided to go downtown to see what I could see, but this was a bad idea because Austin’s downtown is horrendous for anyone with a car. First of all, fuck hippies. Generally, there’s a lot I could complain about their outlook and lifestyle choices, but the bicycle thing is just going too far. I know legally you have the same right to the road as I do, but fuck you. This is Texas, not Beijing.
And I know I’m not used to bigger cities in general, but the parking situation is ridiculous. The parking meters, I guess I understand why they’re needed, but why does every single store and business threaten you with towing 24-7? If it’s a Friday evening and no one is at the place of your business, from each according to his ability to each according to his need is entirely sensible and appropriate. Parking space misers should be dragged out and shot, and their properties seized for the public good.
And then there was the construction and one-ways, which for a poor ol’ country mouse like myself, made an evening near the Capitol no fun at all, especially not with the added traffic of the UT basketball game going on.
So after accomplishing nothing for a while, Friend called me and told me he was at his place, and after all my downtown troubles, going to have a few drinks and trying to drive out of there seemed like an especially miserable idea. I drove to his place so we could take his car. This was an exercise in much failure too, but not in any sort of interesting way.
Friend, who again, is a friend of a friend from work, is a staffer for a Republican representative, and he’s very conservative in his politics and ideology. He also smokes pot constantly, drinks excessively, occasionally enjoys hallucinogens, and supports most gay/civil rights stuff except affirmative action. He’s a Buddhist, too. For those who don’t know, Austin is essentially an enclave of California in the Texas state.
But he is a conservative, and before we went out, we drank the last of his beer, smoked a bowl of what he considered very good weed, and talked about why the lower house should be parliamentary, but the direct election of senators had been a very bad idea for an amendment.
Then we were both hungry and went to a restaurant, ate, had a few beers there, and then called it a night because he had work the next day.
This was very typical as far as vacations go. But the next day was very different.
I must have had more to drink than I thought because even though I was very tired, my sleep was not very good. I went to sleep around 1 a.m. and woke up at about 5:30 a.m. I turned on a light and started watched some movie on HBO. Maybe half an hour later, I got a phone call. On my hotel phone.
I thought maybe the TV was turned up too loud, but when I answered it, there was a woman on the other end of the line whispering breathlessly, asking me what I was doing up so early.
“Watching TV,” I said.
“What are you watching,” she asked.
“I dunno. I like Wolverine, I guess,” I said. “Why? What are you doing?”
“I’m touching my pussy,” she said.
“My fingers are in my cunt right now,” she said.
“Oh.” I tried to think of something to say. “Why are you whispering?”
“My friends are in the bed with me and I don’t want to wake them up. They’re passed out from last night.”
From there, I don’t remember exactly how it went except that she wanted me to take my cock and at least once asked what I was wearing. I was at about half-mast, but smelled shenanigans and told her to have a nice day, then hung up.
Fifteen minutes later she called back, and by this time I’d got to thinking (because she was young and sounded hot, goddamn it), and wondered if I should have asked her to come over to my room and sit on my face.
Oh, that’s what it was. I said she must have the wrong number, and she said she dialed the room number. I was just “some guy,” I guess.
Anyway, I was significantly more aroused, but I kept my dick in my pants and eventually told her, “No offense, but I’m going to hang up now. I’m going to get some breakfast.”
She didn’t ask if she could come with, so I sadly hung up and went to IHOP. It was a good meal.
I saw some patrol cars in the area on the way back, and I have no idea if these events were related, but the paranoid side of me says they must have been. The optimistic side, too, because phone sex possibly leading to more with a random, possibly attractive person in a hotel in a strange city is the kind of fantasy that makes you want to blow your brains out if you blow your chance at it.
I went back to my hotel, read a book until it was a decent hour, and headed downtown to the Texas State History Museum. It’s three-stories tall, has an IMAX theater, and named after Bob Bullock, a gentleman and a scholar if there ever was one.
None of you give a shit about Texas history, but I spent a lot of time there, so much that the ticket people got pissed off at me for taking all of their quarters to feed the parking meter. And there were a lot of school children running around. The two main groups were some from ghetto place full of blacks and Mexicans, probably Houston. They had on yellow T-shirts and there were maybe three teachers watching the 30 of them.
The other group of children wore uniforms. The girls had on plaid skirts and white shirts, the boys had plaid shorts. There were about 20 of them, and probably 10 teachers and parents escorting them around. Compared to the other school, these kids were incredibly attractive (no pedo), and I don’t understand why having money makes their physical appearance so much better. There were one or two ugly ones, but they all looked very healthy and well taken care of.
Anyway, I was starting to get tired again, and it was surreal walking around a museum with children running around at waist level all the time. I fell asleep watching a video about Juan Seguin, and woke up to see a group of about four girls leaning in to check if I was dead or something. Scared the shit out of us both. I chatted some of those bitches up, and they giggled, but it made the parents uncomfortable, and I wandered away eventually.
I also watched The Dark Knight on IMAX, which was fantastic, especially the bank scene. Christ. Made me sad there’s not an IMAX within two hours of my home.
While I was watching that, Friend called me and said he was chilling at home and I could come by if I wanted to hang out that night. I said I’d be there after the movie was done, which still had about a half-hour. He said that was fine and that another of his friends, who I’ll call Guy, would be coming over too. I hung up and the other people in the theater stopped looking at me like I was raping a baby.
When I got to Friend’s place, he told me Guy was getting something to eat (later found out he’d been getting baked, and then went to eat), so Friend smoked some weed and we watched some TV. He was unfortunately out of beer, but I declined to smoke thinking I’d rather just be drunk without any other influence.
Now, the plan was that we’d all three get a bus and take a cab home, but stupidly I’d driven to his apartment complex and realized I’d have to hold back on drinking or else take two cabs, and get up early enough to get my car and come back to the hotel to check out, all of which I’d have to do hungover.
But I put this out of my head and resolved to figure something out later.
When I came over, there were three buses still going downtown. We waited on Guy through the first one, but determined to go the second one, at 10:30 p.m., whether he was there or not. It wasn’t an issue.
Guy got dropped off by a cab at about 9:45 and brought some shrooms with him. I think he was surprised that I was there, so Friend may not have told him about me, but Guy was a cool dude and offered me some, too.
Hallucinogens are not my thing, so I passed. Weed isn’t either, but I smoked excessively the next time around anyhow. One can only be so ungracious to one’s hosts, after all.
Time flew and we realized the bus would get there pretty soon, so about five minutes before it was scheduled to be there, we went to the nearest bus stop. It had a bench and we sat down to wait for a few minutes.
It was already cold, and Guy was wearing short sleeves and sandals, which seemed just insane to me, but he didn’t seem to mind. I shivered in long pants and a hoodie.
After waiting five minutes passed when it should have been there, we walked to the other bus stop that didn’t have a bench but was close to the way the bus was coming and let us see farther. Still nothing.
Finally after a total of about 20 minutes, we decided it just wasn’t coming. Friend was incredulous.
“It was a posted time. You see,” Friend said, “this is what happens when liberals get control of the government. They don’t want you to use a car because it’s bad for the environment, but the public transportation is unreliable.”
“Mussolini wouldn’t stand for this shit,” I said.
Guy laughed at something unrelated.
Or maybe not. Because when we were halfway between the two bus stops, of course that’s when the bus decided to arrive. We waved and yelled, but it didn’t bother to let us on at an unapproved stop and left us there on the sidewalk, panting. The next bus going downtown was scheduled to come at 11:30. Le sigh.
We decided to go to 7-11 to get some (Lonestar) beer and contemplated dawdling long enough before going to Whataburger so that their breakfast menu would be offered (11 p.m.), but Whataburger always takes a long time, so them making something actually fresh would probably take all the rest of our time. Guy wasn’t hungry and giggling at some black people he saw taking a smoke break outside. I had to stop him from pointing.
We went back to Friend’s place, ate our food, drank a beer each, and smoked some more. As with the night before, it was doing nothing for me, but it wasn’t as unpleasant, except to my lungs.
The two of them nearly smoked past the bus’s arrival time, but we still left a couple of minutes early, plenty of time to wait twenty minutes for the bus to show up.
This time it came early and we weren’t at an actual bus stop again, but I guess the driver felt pity on us and just pulled over to let us on.
Some Russian dudes got on at the next stop. Well, they sounded Slavic, anyway. I’m pretty sure they understood English, but Guy started jabbering at them and either he was making fun of them or actually knew some of the language, but they just smiled and nodded and eventually he stopped. Friend and Guy went back to talking until we got to Sixth Street, and pretty much everyone else got off of the bus, too.
I’d never been there before, and the bar scene in my town isn’t anything like Austin. There are bars of various sizes and flavors, then a few clubs, but they’re all spread out all over. I can’t think of two that sit next to one another. Supposedly the Sixth Street area zipcode has the highest percentage of bars in the country, with one in New York City coming in second. I believe it. I’d never seen an entire section of a city blocked off by barricades, firetrucks, and squad cars with cops in riot gear patrolling the streets. But I am very much a country mouse and don’t know how common this is in larger cities.
Friend had complained about the fascist Austin police department before, but really started going off now. Though he is very much a conservative, he’s an Austin conservative. He doesn’t trust police at all and is almost paranoid of them.
But I was sincerely glad they were all here.
“Someone has to keep you pot-smoking hippies in line. Can you imagine what would happen if they just let you faggots run around wild? If I had a badge, I’d execute at least one long-haired tree-hugger or buzzcut dyke each night.”
Friend couldn’t tell how much I was joking and Guy didn’t care, so we started to walk to find a bar with live music. There was a giant shaggy white dog in the middle of the street, and Friend and I pretended not to see it, but Guy could tell we were putting him on and wandered off to the other side of the street for a while.
Friend heard some kind of live music he liked, and we paid the five dollar cover charge to get in and hear some kind of ZZ Top cover band. They were all right, but not really my thing. I got a beer and Friend got a Scotch on the rocks. We headed for the back.
It was a blues place, and there was some kind of patron or owner who was this old black that used to be somebody. Looked about 80 or 90. Pictures of him all over the place. Anyway, he was sitting at a table nearby, and I never said anything to him, it just seemed weird to me that there was this supposedly famous guy I didn’t know anything about. One day, I’m going to start a bar, get an old dude off the street and just put pictures of him up everywhere and see how many people pretend to give a shit.
At some point I guess Guy called Friend and found out where we were. Nothing really interesting happened because the music was so goddamned loud we couldn’t talk. I bought both of them shots, Jager and a Jagerbomb, I think. Only interesting thing that happened was I went to the bathroom and said, “Hey, if anyone slips a roofie in my drink, be sure to tell me. Unless it’s a really hot guy, then just let me go home with him.” They laughed, but I think for the rest of the night they honestly thought I was gay, because no one I’ve told about the hotel call phone sex thing has believed me whatsoever.
Also, in the bathroom there was graffiti that said “AUSTIN AIN’T GOT SHIT ON NEW ORLEANS,” and then someone else wrote Katrina joke in response, something about being underwater I guess. I laughed my ass off at the time and repeated it to several other people, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it actually was now. So I’m convinced it was the funniest thing in the world.
Anyway, the band wound down and we left to go some place else. When we went outside there was a huge crowd gathered around the alley across the street. I asked the bouncer what was going on.
I forgot to mention this, but the bouncer was the guy who checked IDs and took out money and he made very unfunny jokes about our names and stuff. I can’t describe how unfunny they were. But he was like 6’5” and 300 pounds so we laughed. We laughed our fucking asses off.
Anyway, we asked him what was going on, and he said some drunk couple had been making out and started screwing, and the cops had been called in to take care of it.
“Then the chick took a swing at one of the officers, and he slammed her up against the wall,” the bouncer said. “Her boyfriend got upset so they clubbed him and handcuffed both of them, and they’re probably going to get prosecuted for assault.”
“Better than those swine deserve,” I said. “At least the queers are decent enough to fuck in the bathrooms.”
The bouncer laughed. “I used to be a cop, until I got fired for failing a drug test. Anyway, back then, anyone struggled, we’d mace them blind.”
I laughed and shook his hand, then realized Friend and Guy had started moving away from us. I went over to where the crowd was for a moment, then left quickly when my eyes and skin started stinging. Nice to know Austin PD isn’t going soft.
I caught back up with Friend and Guy and went in with them to some quiet little yuppie bar near another bar called “Emos.” I don’t remember the name of the bar we actually went in to, but the fact that someone would name a bar “Emos” as a way to entice people into it made me think that if terrorists nuked Austin, it wouldn’t be much of a loss.
I drank entirely too much at that place, and said a number of very stupid things related to sodomy, pedophilia, and racism. I bought them both a lot of drinks to make up for it, but when I started talking very loudly about how all of the fucking faggots in this town were going to catch AIDS, die, and burn in hell, I was asked — then made — to leave.
I kept up the Westboro act long enough for some dude with a “The End is Near” sign to come and join me, and two Austin PD guys and their German Shepperd came over to tell us they sympathized, but we had to tone it down.
Closing time came pretty quick, and Friend and Guy came out. I apologized profusely, they didn’t seem to mind, and we stumbled away from the bars to hail a cab.
We got back to Friend’s place without any problems. Friend offered to let either of us crash at his place until we sobered up a bit, but we both declined. Guy took the same cab back to his home, and I convinced myself I could navigate my way back to I-35 and from there to my motel. I drove a little bit, then got the spins and pulled into a 7-11 parking lot to get my shit together.
I could still call a cab, but as mentioned earlier, I’d have to pay to twice. Once to take me home, then again to take me back to pick up my car once I was hungover, and probably in no better shape to drive.
So I saw this lady standing by the phone booth and got this idea that seemed really great at the time. She was Mexican and looked about 43 but was probably 28, had on stretch pants and belly shirt that didn’t look like it had been made to be a belly shirt. Anyway, I assumed she was a whore and didn’t have anything better to do with her time.
I drove up near her and rolled down the window.
“Hey,” I said.
“Hey, she said.
“Do you have anywhere you need to be in the next half hour or so?”
“Depends. What do you have in mind?”
“Do you know how to drive a stick?” I said.
She made a hand gesture.
“No, no, I mean manual. I’m very drunk, and I need someone to take me back to my motel. I’ve asked cab drivers and none of them will leave their cars to drive for me.” This was a lie, and probably a very bad one because she still acted like I was speaking in code until I actually opened the driver’s side door for her and scooted over to the passenger side.
I still didn’t really know my way around Austin and just recognized my Motel 6 by sight rather than directions, so I told her to drive to I-35 and then guessed that she should turn right. Downtown was on our left as we went, so that seemed correct.
I started up conversation and tried to ask her about her life and ignore the spins. She had a daughter or something. I actually don’t know that she was a whore, because she never came out and said she was, but I wasn’t really paying attention to most of what she said.
Everything after that is hazy. I only had 30 dollars cash left at the end of the night, so I must have given her that. I got back to my room fine and woke up around five a.m. hugging the toilet shirtless with liquor-smelling vomit in the bowl. She wasn’t around, so I probably called her a cab. I cleaned up a little, drank a bottle of water, and moved to the bed.
The next day I checked out about noon, went back to downtown and enjoyed a sleepy Saturday at Wendy’s, Starbucks, and several churches, read a bit, and wrote some of my impressions of the city down in a notebook.
When I left, I also called a girl I’ve been in love with literally as long as I can remember and asked if she was up for hanging out for a few hours before I went back home. She lives in Waco and goes to Baylor. She made an apology and said she was tired. Then she thought she hung up, but didn’t and told her friend some faggot wouldn’t leave her alone, and I hung up because I didn’t want to hear it anymore.
She later claimed it was just a misunderstanding.
OH NO!!! I didn’t know that!! I’m so sorry! But I wouldn’t have wanted you to drive all the way back up here just for that! I could have at least met you halfway or something! It’s not a bad drive at all; just like an hour and a half.
Unfortunately, Thursdays and Fridays aren’t my days off. Jaja! But maybe we can figure something out!
By the time I got that I didn’t care. I’d stopped at a convenience store and masturbated.
All in all, it was a pretty good trip.