is something wrong she said
Just the other night at one of our girl’s night happy hours (that one that ended up going all night in fact) I was telling W that I never run in to anyone I know in this town. That was before my friend Kevin walked out of the bar of course; but I don’t count that – he’s always there. I’m talking about the random run-into, the one with the person you haven’t seen in years or the person you know but just never see out – that kind of thing.
When I was married, I lived in the same apartment in North Austin for seven years. My husband’s first ex-wife (#1) moved down the street from us and lived there for about a year. Her mother moved about a mile away from us. Then #1 moved, but only about 3 miles away. Her sister lived down the street from her. All told we were in a five-mile radius of each other, along with movie theaters, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations… all the hallmarks of civilization. Never once in all those years did I run in to any of them. The ex did all the time.
I mean it’s not like I’m not social. God knows. I’m getting grief right now for having too many all-nighters while at the same time being complimented on my ability to speak to anyone. But for whatever reason in the grand footprints of human traffic mine just don’t cross with other people I know. [Unless we’re at a music festival and you’re Ruhmann] So when they point to this “always run in to people I know” as a reason why Austin is just the shit and better than every other place in the world, I always come back with “it doesn’t happen to me.” I may go to a show and know someone there – either the band or the promoter or the guy running the club or (God bless ’em) the bartender – but that’s not a random encounter. That’s me knowing you’re gonna be there because you’re working an event.
Last night though, the city proved me wrong. Just outside the Dirty Dog on the way in to see the band, I spied a familiar face in the crowd on 6th. A former coworker that I hadn’t seen in years; I called out what I was pretty sure was his name, and sure enough he turned around and smiled. We chatted for a bit, caught up on others we used to work with and what was new with each other. We exchanged numbers so we could keep in touch, wished each other a fun night, and parted ways. Awesome, right? Reconnecting with an old friend, gonna keep in touch, all great. Right?
Fast forward to about 2:30am. Incoming text message. You’ll never guess who from. “Didya have fun tonight?” Hmm… now call me a cynic but in my experience texts sent after midnight are rarely for innocent purposes. I reply back that yes, I did, but sadly did not get to see all the people I was hoping to. “Where are you now?” I’m asked. Uh huh. Now see, here’s where I start to get disappointed. Earlier I had run in to an old friend! It was so great! Yay! Now it’s gonna take a turn, I can feel it. I even give him a way out in my response, making it perfectly clear that I have no intentions of doing anything more that evening than going straight.to.bed. Nope, not gonna save this. “Can I come over?”
Oh Austin. Just love you so much.