Austin, Day Sixteen

Sunday, and I have a breakfast engagement with my landlady and her son, Hugo. Hugo has been running and needs a shower so the landlady and I take her tandem downtown to the restaurant while he catches us up in his car. Yes, a tandem. It’s downhill most of the way and it’s a beautiful day for a bike ride. We pedal through a fragrant little grove, the path lined with wildflowers. I am inappropriately dressed and begin to perspire profusely. I am a Sweaty Sock – a Jock on a bike for two. I do the eggs Benedict thing, (the joke goes: what’s the connection between eggs Benedict and a blow job? They’re both really good but you never seem to be able to get them at home. Sexist in every conceivable way. Personally, I frequently make eggs Benedict at home) and then check out the bookshop opposite. I buy yet more Roberto Bolaño books. Posthumously published and possibly inferior but I’m determined to read everything, I’m so in awe of him.

At the bunker I track some more vocals, lead and harmony. Then I leave Mr. McC to compile away. I nip next door to Target but they don’t have a luggage department. I could stare at luggage all day. I’m drawn to it. I have a suitcase at home that I bought in San Francisco (see ancient tales) that is so big and well made they charge you extra to put it on a plane even when it’s empty. You could live in it, travel in it, throw a party in it. It has some tracking device so the company that manufactured it can locate the thing anywhere in the galaxy should it go missing. They can destroy it with a laser beam from space if it falls into enemy hands. Suffice to say I didn’t bring it. So having bought cowboy boots, shirts, two jackets and an Omnichord I’m over capacity. I either jettison some old shit or buy a bigger case. So far I have worn and used everything I brought so I didn’t overpack. I under-suitcased. This has been vexing me. Do I expand my carry-on bag like all those assholes trying to stuff fucking trunks into overhead lockers? I don’t think I can allow myself. Do I buy another check-on bag and face the punitive charge for putting three items in the hold? Do I stuff the body of my guitar with underwear and risk it bring sawn in half by customs? Do I wear all my clothes at once and pretend to be a big fat man? I have four days to resolve this problem.

I lie on the sofa in the kitchen/lounge area of the bunker listening to music on headphones so as not to hear what Mr. McC’s up to. That way I’ll have fresh ears when he plays me his edit. We have used quite a few of the vocal tracks that I sang live with the band which has surprised me. But they have a weird quality, you can feel that everything’s being performed simultaneously. Like wot they used to do.

I drive home in the hot night, windows down, some Persian modern classical on KUT. The waxing moon hangs above the end of my street, half undressed and glimmering.