Friday, July 31, 2009

And I Thought I Couldn't Be Any More In Love

It's no secret that I am wildly, deeply, crazily in love... with Austin. Recently I was competing for a blogging position (and yes, shockingly enough it was a PAID position). I have no idea how I fared in this writing test-- haven't heard back. But it was fun when I got to the part where I had to describe this town in one sentence. So, using my skill at run-on sentences, I recalled the time when I was sitting in my car at an intersection, and I was totally broke and out of gas, and when a homeless guy asked me for money and I pointed out that I was broke and out of gas, HE offered ME a dollar. Yes, people, that is Austin, Texas, packed wall-to-wall with the most generous people I have ever encountered.

And so what happened today, while it wasn't a total surprise, was a wonderful delight. Preface: my kid, The Amazing Henry Mowgli Gillespie, recently headed west to Portland, where he may or may not turn his vacation into a more permanent move. I miss the hell out of him, and I call him every day (and, how sweet is this-- he actually answers), but I also try to just keep a lid on all this missing-him stuff, and to be really super happy for his adventure in the world.

Between us Henry and I probably know just about everybody in Austin. For instance, the kid that often waits on me at Cherrywood Coffeehouse is a friend of Henry's. His name is Eli. This morning I was talking to Eli about his dad, who is a well-known musician and producer in town. And I lost track of the transaction, walking out with my Rock Star bagel but forgetting my change.

It didn't even dawn on me for several hours that I forgot my change. Only when I accidentally spilled my purse in my office and some cash fell out did I add it up. I wouldn't have even done that except I hardly ever carry cash anymore so I happened to know how much I had (or should've had). More curious about whether I have early Alzheimer's than concerned about the eight bucks (which is about how much I spend on cigarettes in a day sometimes and I haven't smoked all week so that's the kind of math I use to rationalize such losses) I called the coffeeshop. Eli was already gone for the day. I left a message saying I couldn't figure out if I hadn't paid at all or if I'd forgotten to get my change.

The end.

Or so I thought. Another couple of hours passed and Henry called. Always a joy to see his name/pic on the iPhone but also, since he rarely initiates calls, I have a twinge of worry. I say, "Hello, honey," and try to sound cool before swooshing in an, "iseverythingokay....??" He, in his super sleepy super deepy just woke up voice grunts a monosyllabic yeah, then pauses, then asks me if I am missing eight dollars.

Because yes, Eli-- not having my phone number but having my son's-- texted Henry in Oregon to tell him to tell me in Austin to come and get my change.

I will say it again. I LOVE THIS CITY. Thank you Eli. That was so nice. Put it in your tip jar.

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