I'm finally making some headway on this screenplay chaos. It was, as I knew, just a matter of jumping in and getting dirty. Later today I will have a big pile of paper that will tell me what I've got, what I need to do, what's right, what's wrong. Anyway, I hope so.
When I was in the mess of it yesterday, J. told me he was going to do some laundry and asked if I wanted to join him. Since I only have about 8 days' worth of clothes, I almost always need to do laundry. And one of our favorite restaurants, Mother's Cafe, which is across the street from the laundromat, had burned down the night before, and I wanted to take a look.
J. wanted to stop on the way at the Guitar Center for ukulele strings. We have a gig -- surprise! -- in a show called Gay Bi Gay Gay (one of the glut of events riding on the coattails of SXSW next week). J. had a general sense of where the Guitar Center was, and we drove around for a long time looking. There's a highway in Austin called the Mo-Pac Expressway, and it's some kind of vortex of confusion. Whenever we're trying to find anything on or near Mo-Pac, we're guaranteed to get lost. I remember this from as far back as our first visits to Austin many years ago when we were touring. Mo-Pac = lost.
While we were searching, we got hungry, so we stopped at ZuZu, a Mexican fast food place for lunch. Cheap and delicious. Next door to the restaurant was a Hollywood Video, where J. asked for directions to the Guitar Center. The one on Mo-Pace is no longer there, so they sent us to the one in the Northcross Mall, which is the site of a very controversial future Wal-Mart. The Guitar Center doesn't carry ukulele strings, but J. found a Yahama keyboard he liked, on sale, and he bought it. Fuck the ukulele.
Then we did laundry. The whole expedition lasted about 4 hours.
On the way home, we were listening to KOOP, one of the surviving listener-owned, free-form stations where deejays talk about things that are happening around the corner and play whatever the hell they feel like playing. While the deejay was on the air, another deejay called in sick, and they chatted on the air for a good while. It was International Women's Day, and the sick deejay wasn't happy about it. ("Women get their own day every four weeks. Why don't we get an International Men's Day?")
The on-air deejay asked the sick deejay how we was going to spend his sick day, and he said that he was going to stay home and read a good book. He was reading To Kill a Mockingbird. He'd read it several times already, and he spoke admiringly of Harper Lee "because he really nails the characters and the story," or something like that.
The on-air guy said, "I hate to have to be the one to tell you, but your favorite author Harper Lee is a woman."
"No way! There's no way that could be a chick. He gets all the characters perfectly: Atticus Finch, the little boy Scout...."
"Um. I've got some news for you, man. Scout is a girl."
How often do you get to witness the exact moment when someone's consciousness is changed?