Random Book Tour Dispatch: Texas in June Pt. 1

luis

"Me and Cinderella, put it all together,
We can drive it home
With one headlight." --The Wallflowers

#

Up at 4:00, leaving Boston before sunrise.

Grind, grind, grind. Get to Dallas, and Ronnie
drives us to Dallas Morning News offices--
reporters watch the World Cup over my shoulder
as I try to answer their questions.

100 people at my luncheon talk.
One old woman had a Mexican-stroke and
raised a shaking finger at me and shouted
MEXI-KANZ! MEEEEXI-KAAAANZ!
Nobody likes immigration, lady, but I smuggle
illegal aliens all day in my luggage!
Nah, I didn't say that.
Limo saved me from the Wrath of the Queen
and rushed us to the airport.
We slept the 45 minutes to Houston--
did not awaken refreshed.

Hertz only had shite cars. I stared at the hot
Camaros in the lot and wept. Only weird
little boxes w/ no GPS. "But," we argued,
"we're driving across Texas and into New Mexico!"
We were already so bedraggled that the awesome goddess,
Miss Loretta,
snuck us into a rockin' fat bidnessman Altima w
GPS and satellite radio.

Straight to Brazos Books. 50 people. Signed many books.
Dragged over to the affable and frou-frou Zaza Hotel.
So arty it could have been made of chocolate and neon.
Too tired to love it.
Claw-foot bed!
Vibrators in the bedroom. Um....vibrators?
Fell 130 miles
into the bed
and slept
with no dreams.

#

Up. Out of bed. Aching.
Old man shower, feeling sorry
for my body.
Must rush to Austin.

Ludacris
in the hotel lobby
laying the smack down on some
poor concert promoter--
his bodyguards
giving us the stink-eye.

Toddle over to Murder By the Book
to sign copies of Phoenix Noir. (I
accidentally won an Edgar for my story,
"Amapola.")
Whole staff was watching
the world cup.

Freeway.
Starbucks.
Freeway.

ROAD PORN: we passed
a car-carrier with a new Camaro
perched nose-to-nose
with a new Challenger.

Katy, Texas: I see
cows.

Vulture circles over the freeway--
must have heard I was coming.

Hawks hunt the fields
along TX 71.

Fireworks stand: BUY 1,
GET 11 FREE!!!

House in the trees was once
a gas station. Empty
pump stands in front yard
full of bushes. People
from my first novel
would definitely be living there.

Rusty hearse in a field.

Odd:
bridge in segments
for sale beside the highway.

Wait.
Truck driving down the highway
with a friggin' stegasaurus
in the back.

Bar sign:
CINDY'S GONE HOG WILD!
I nudge my bride.

In love with
the little roadside sunflowers.

As usual, super-tight schedule, weird LSD GPS--
poor English woman likes to deliver us to
flower shops, municipal baseball diamonds.
We drive 160 miles blind.
2 radio shows in Ausin chaos.

Favorite Austin bumper sticker:
NOT A ZOMBIE.

Arrived in our beloved Omni hotel.
Upgraded to the world's biggest
executive suite. Jacuzzi! I find
a washing machine in the closet.
Bring me LUNCH! AC. CNN.
4:30 is a Santa Fe NPR interview. 7:00 reading.

I tweet that I love the Omni, and the Omni scares us
by tweeting back that they're happy we like it.
Be careful what you say!

#

McChrystal's melt-down, BP oil spill,
huge laughs radio interview then, oh no,
tornado sirens back in Illinois
and out little one crying in fear
on the phone.
Talk her through it.
Moments of utter helplessness.

Good event at Book People.
Cousin Dave Duty brought his laptop
so we could do a slide show.
Only 20 peeps at the beginning,
but over 50 at the end. Shoppers
kept wandering upstairs to see
what all the laughter was about.

Bought a book of Lucha Libre photos: I am nothing
if not cultured.

#

Couldn't sleep.

Breakfast with Amanda Ayre Ward. Wild woman.
Oops! Got to go to San Antonio!

It didn't take us long to reach--YAHOO--
Snake Farm. You bet:
I got a lovin' thang going on with a hot and depressed pig,
was flashed by a pervert monkey, held a pyton and
choked in the scent of burning hot doo-doo.
PS the monkey, when he was sure we were looking, made his nads
twitch and bounce.

Biker couple in black leather chaps
in 96 degree cloud of humid crap-steam
sat at a picnic table eating ice cream
with little wooden spoons.

#

Twig Bookstore. Lots of cousins.
Lots of Teresita/Saint of Cabora family.
We adjourned to a taco shop
and had an instant family reunion.

Hotel? Um. Our carpet was soaking wet.
Bathroom door was broken.
Found a wad of hair stuck to
the shower curtain.
Wow. Really? It's a nice chain, too.
But we were tired and decided to sleep.
Pinhead, in Hellraiser, threatens:
"Your Suffering Will Be Legendary,
Even In HELL!"
No comment.

In the morning, big scary TX skies.

A full day of driving ahead to get to Marfa and Alpine.
GPS dropped mescaline and thought Starbucks
was in Mexico.

Bumper sticker:
PALIN/JINDAL 2012.

Much coffee.
Hair metal on the radio.
It's our 100th honeymoon.

I heart Texas.

(Part 2 coming soon)

Comments

dragon (not verified)

These dispatches are awesome. What a great way to chronicle one's life. There is so much motion and life in these snippets.
Enjoy it thoroughly.

Mariah

White Eagle (not verified)

Great stuff!!

Eag

Grace (not verified)

Yay! Wastelanders. Umm, vibrators in the hotel? Were they hygienically wrapped for your comfort? With a little paper strip? I have the Lucha Libre book too. Isn't it awesome?

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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