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Day 8

Day 8

I wake up around 11:30 AM. Patrick has already left the residence of his friend. I am slightly hung over and scan the room. Empty bottles and cans are randomly dispersed across the graffitied picnic table where Patrick's friend lay passed out underneath. DRIVER X and Brian are asleep in their sleeping bags on the couches.

I shower and step out on to the patio to enjoy the hot Texas sun. I notice a swarm of small butterflies fly past me and admire the architecture of the run down neighboring homes. Everything seems very calm and it is a pleasant morning. I step back in to the house to find the others waking up.

Patrick's friend invites us to breakfast and we walk about 4 blocks to a Mexican restaurant that looks as if it is inhabiting a vacated Pizza Hut. Once inside I look around and admire the strange paintings that line the walls of Mexican folklore. There is a kind of ghetto charm to the place and the staff are smiling and pleasant. We eat a pretty good breakfast and enjoy the air conditioning and eventually walk back to the house in the sweltering heat.

I turn on the news to investigate the hurricane situation. There is no internet at the house for DRIVER X to log on and we sit and watch the tv together. It appears that we are scheduled to be  driving right around the hurricane. The hurricane is just starting to hit Houston and terrible things are happening. We are playing the last minute show addition in Austin that night and heading to Houston the next day when the hurricane is supposedly heading north. The images of the destruction to Houston are a bit intimidating though so I decide to call the club "Notsuoh" (houston backwards) to see if the show is still going to happen.

The phone rings a few times and the voice of an old man who just woke up answers. I tell the man that I am in a band playing tomorrow and would like to confirm the show. The voice gruffly tells me that they still have electricity and the show is still going on "No Matter What."
I hang up and look back to the news where they are stating that the police are going to be enforcing a 7:00 pm curfew in Houston and anyone on the street after 7:00 will be arrested and jailed.
Not having any real solution to the problem I think to myself "I will deal with it when I get there."

Eventually Patrick returns and we pack up our things and head to Austin. Austin has a reputation for being a very Live-Music-Friendly sort of town and has a lot of venues in a small amount of space. I am excited to be able to play there because it looks good on a resume and it is Saturday night in a heavily populated area. The club we are playing at is called "Headhunters" and has a very good location. The drive is short to Austin and we get there a little after sun down. It is an incredibly hot night and there is no parking at the club.

I go inside the venue to see where we are supposed to load and the club has no idea who we are and informs us that we can't load in. I tell them the name of the promoter that booked us and the club employees have no idea what I am talking about. DRIVER X parks the van down the block and we start hounding around and do some investigation on the night.

We eventually find a poster for the night that is advertising a "Mexican Music Night" and I see the promoter’s name who booked us on the poster. Confused, we wait and argue about just taking off. I am more interested in playing if we can because we are already there but the others seem like they just want to flee the scene. I had been hankering for some real texas BBQ and Patrick informs me that one block down there is a famous texas BBQ place called "Stubb's" and he would buy dinner if we didn't have to play the show. We compromise and agree that we can play a short set and then go eat...

Eventually the promoter shows up and informs us that we have to use their crappy drum kit if we want to play. It seems as if the night is a Mexican music night and there is some confusion about what sort of music we play. Since we had a guarantee of  $50 we pile on to the stage anyways. The main monitor is broke and I can't hear anything. I introduce myself and the band in an unintentionally racist sounding fashion, we play to a confused audience, end the set early and ask for the money which we don't get. Some discussion is had about holding Rosa from San Antonio responsible for the money because she sent us out there with a guarantee. I urge the everyone to forget about it and we go and eat at Stubb's.

Austin is strange, compact, hot and claustrophobic and I want to get out. We leave and head back towards San Antonio to sleep at Patrick's friend’s house again. There is some argument from DRIVER X (who seems to still be mad that we didn't stop at the grand canyon) about driving back to San Antonio. DRIVER X is from Houston and would rather head in to Houston earlier. This seems like an incredibly bad idea being that Houston is being ripped to shreds by  Hurricane Ike at the moment and we eventually head back to San Antonio with DRIVER X sighing and complaining for the entire 75 minute drive.

We arrive at Patrick's friend’s house and discover that he is not there and at a near-by bar. Patrick leaves to go get the house keys from him and I get to sit and listen to DRIVER X complain about having to come back to San Antonio. It appears that there is some sort of house party happening near by and DRIVER X keeps urging me to go to it. I probably wouldn't have had any problem crashing the party if I didn't have DRIVER X in tow. People tend to not look their best when they are traveling and at this point DRIVER X looks like the greasiest, oldest, acid-casualty hippy I have ever seen. Before leaving he dyed his long unkept hair purple, and now it has patches of grey and light brown and is frizzed out and disgusting. He is wearing a pink shirt that is too big for him and loudly colored pink, purple and red hiking boots and jeans. His eyes have a strange glazed over look and are widely opened and he has a stubble of grey and black facial hair that makes him look even older than he is. This guy would get identified as a crazy homeless person and we would probably be removed from the party by force.

I advise him to stay put and wait for Patrick to get back. Once Patrick arrives we are let in and some drinking begins. Substances are consumed and news is watched. Suddenly Patrick's friend bursts through the door with another adult male and appears to be angry and fresh from a bad situation. Patrick's friend strips his shirt off and yells at us for consuming his substances. He takes a seat with the unkown male he was accompanied by at the picnic table and they begin to talk about some sort of situation that happened at the bar. I hear the unknown male say something like "Your friends picked a bad night to stay at your house" and I gather that someone is coming to take some sort of revenge on Patrick's friend. I internally theorize that sleeping on the floor would be low enough to avoid bullets from a drunken revenger or unexpected drive-by shooting and take out my sleeping bag and lay in it with my coat over my head and try to go to sleep.

At this point I think Brian may have also got in his sleeping bag but drunken DRIVER X decides that it is a great time to start taking pictures. DRIVER X starts snapping away pictures of our extremely upset host and the unknown male starts yelling at him and asking him "how would you like it if I was taking your fucking picture!!!?!?!?!" and angrily telling DRIVER X that it is not a good time to take pictures. DRIVER X wanders outside of the house and starts taking pictures of the house, stoking the flames of the agitated.  The situation is tense and I want no part of it. I feign sleep, listen for signs of danger and eventually drift off into nightmares about huge swarms of butterflies destroying everything.

to be continued...

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