Illustration of a snail


Published 2002-02-18

I wanted an early start out of Austin. I figured in a full day of driving I could hit the border. That would be one less night in Texas.

The early start didn't happen.

I woke up hung over on Shawn & Carol"s couch. They had a new puppy who barked all night. The previous night we"d seen some kind of experimental theater thing on campus ... I think they had a friend in a student troupe. I dunno, I was pretty drunk.

So when I meant to get up at 7 am ... well, maybe it was more like 10:30. At least the weather was good. Sunny, clear, somewhere under 80 degrees. This was late October, and probably the first day I'd had in Texas where it wasn't 90 degrees at 10:30.

I hate being hot.

Shawn and Carol took to me IHOP ... my first visit to IHOP ever, which I deemed recommendable. They dropped me at the garage, where I was picking up the company truck. By now it was maybe noon.

Of course, I couldn't leave town without buying some new music. I had about 5 tapes with me that I'd heard dozens of times each on the drive to and from Buffalo (the project area, about 100 miles northeast of Austin). They were, I think, REM's Monster, a Green Day tape, and some tapes by friends' bands back in Nebraska. Floating Opera, Such Sweet Thunder, and Straw Dog, I believe. These were all fine albums which I enjoy, but really. I had a two day drive ahead of me through lots of blank map on the way to Laramie. I knew my radio selection would be limited.

So it was with great anticipation that I slid Pulp Fiction into the tape player, as the Texas hill country peeled open ahead of me.