Friday, March 04, 2005

Aides to the Ex President 7: The Roof

I would have written this all early this week, had I not been stumped by trying to recall just exactly what sort of bullshit I'd laid on this poor girl. Perhaps when I'm feeling perverse and verbose, I'll go back and stick it in here, but for now, just the facts.

Jim and I sat back in that dark corner booth for the better part of two hours, sucking down Wild Turkey and whatever else they put in front of us; I kept trying to write, but my eyes refused to focus on the paper, and it was too dark to see what I was doing, anyway. But eventually, I guess, one of the two of us began to believe our own press--the matter of the dusty velvet rope was broached, our requirement of TOTAL COVERAGE, or at least a view of the West End, explained, and the manager summoned. Soon, unbelievably, Jim and I were ensconced on the roof of the place, at a glass topped table with a parasol sticking out of the middle of it. It was HOT, and we could never get the shade situation corrected, but nobody, especially the manager, batted an eye when I asked Jenna to start questioning her guests about whether any of them had attended the Lollapalooza show the night before. Soon, a trickle of people began to file up the stairs to sit at our table and be "interviewed."

I still can't believe, to this day, that we succeeded with this. All I can think was that there really was a sort of confluence of subcultural energy in Dallas that weekend, and the restaurant staff was hip to it, at least subconsciously.

And it had to have been subconsciously-if it was obvious, I can't help but think they're expect someone slightly more illustrious than a couple of wild eyed hopheads to come cover the event--but, as ridiculous as it seemed to me, everyone seemed to swallow our bullshit without batting an eye.

It was nearly sunset when I looked up and noticed a few things.

1) While we had the only table on the roof, few (if any) of the people I'd interviewed had gone back downstairs. The bar in this area was completely stripped of alcohol, and the entire thing was covered in a layer of fine Texas dust, so the only reason for these folks to be upstairs would be, well, us.

2) For some reason our Turkey and Cokes had been replaced with gin and tonics, which suited me fine because the day was rather hot. The parasol, the crowd below, and the general heat combined with my greatly stretched brain at this point, and something odd happened.

It's kind of hard to explain, but veteran psychonauts will probably back me up on this. Your mind sort of...splits in two, I guess. Your conscious mind knows and acts like you're in exactly the same reality that everyone else is in, albeit one that is substantially funnier and prone to breathe/melt/turn irridescent. Your subconscious mind, however, begins to make pretty erroneous assumptions about what's going on.

In this case, I knew I was wearing a black Jane's Addiction tshirt, khaki shorts, and ratty tennis shoes. However, when I wasn't looking at what I was wearing, and especially when I took a sip of my frosty beverage, my subconscious mind would dress me in a sort of white linen planter's suit--and instead of downtown Dallas, I was somewhere near the coast, in Mexico or Algiers. The post of the parasol would morph into a palm tree trunk, and the haze that shrouds downtown became, peripherally at least, a sandstorm. While this was infinitely cooler than being broke in Dallas and responsible for a rapidly growing bar tab, it was rather disconcerting. Even MORE disconcerting was

3) Jim was nowhere to be found. However, there was a commotion on the staircase, and the manager, by the door, was dividing his attention between staring at me and scanning the feet of the crowd, especially in the area of the still abandoned bar. I began to fret.


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