Back in November, I got a call from my ex-girlfriend MaRanda. She had decided on moving to Los Angeles from North Carolina, and had requested to stay with me in Austin for a few days on her drive across the country. With having not seen her since 1998, I jumped on the opportunity and opened my door for her eventual trip two months later.
Her visit this week was nothing short of incredible. She arrived late Tuesday night after eleven hours on the road and was ready for a drink, a laugh, and some rest. Wednesday, we went around town; I tried to show her stuff that was “uniquely Austin”, and mostly succeeded. Had breakfast at Starseeds. Gave her a tour of my workplace (I luckily had enough time to request the day off). Drove her down 2222 and down 360. Showed her the dotcom where I used to work. Gave her a brief overview of Zilker, Restaurant Row, Lamar through Pease Park, and across to Tazza Fresca where she went nutso for the Groovy Lube sign. Heh. She got to meet several of my longtime friends and felt right at home.
She decided to extend her stay another day. So on Thursday we had brunch at Magnolia Cafe, went to the boat ramp at the end of Lake Austin Blvd., took pictures. Went to the Capitol Building (she did visit the state’s capitol, after all). Got pictures of her doing obscene gestures in the Senate and Representatives chambers. Then we went to Spiderhouse and hung out enjoying the vibe. She met more friends.
It took every ounce of her will to stay to her plan of driving the rest of the way to L.A. She has obligations. She has people waiting on her. But I told her, everyone told her, that if the L.A. experience should be a failure, then she has safe haven here. It was nice to have her around, and it would be nice if she stayed, but I would never wish for her to betray her plans.
In seeing her again, in speaking face to face, I remembered what it was that attracted me to her back in ’97. Even after these years part of that is still there. It’s that we work out well. We fit. There is chemistry, history. I feel comfortable around her to an extent greater than usual around others. That counts for a lot.
Her visit was great. We had fun; reconnected. I’m still trying to digest and remember all that we did and said. It was a heady two and a half days; we went nonstop, and slept little. No time for sleeping in. And we barely scratched the surface of what it’s like here, how well we’d fit as roomates or neighbors. Trying to cram years of this-is-who-I-am into 58 hours. A Sisyphean task. A bittersweet time; fun with the knowledge of the end. I guess that’s what made the visit more heady.
A little is not enough.
I hope things work out well for her in L.A. I do. Sure, I’ll miss her, but I hope for the best for her, for me.