I must have texted a dozen people. Easily a dozen. No one, though, wanted to go to Roller Derby. This is partially my fault--I didn't let enough people know about it early enough and I didn't realize that this would be the last game I could go to this summer. But I had just met with M. nee M., who went to UT for her grad work and now is married with two wonderful daughters, and we discussed living the full life, so I decided I could go all by myself.
So I took myself on a Saturday date.
First I went to the library to return a book. Then I took a lovely long walk down to the convention center (read: was deceived by Google Maps as to its proximity). But on my way I ran into some British tourists, which reminded me to be a tourist in my own city. I witnessed a rally on the steps of the Capital. I read the historical markers. I wandered downtown to flat track derby.It was less like Whip It and more like a cute, minor-league baseball game. People chatted with their beers. Little kids ran around the bleachers. The husbands of the Hell Marys (punch-punch-punch-Hell, yeah!) all had "Widower" t-shirts, vuvuzelas, and homemade signs for their sweeties. The derby girls themselves we all having a good time. They were a physiognomically diverse group, but all seemed to have fairly respectable jobs. In fact, they were celebrating teachers that night and several of the players were elementary teachers themselves. For their tough names most of them behaved just like rec-level athletes--competitive, team-oriented, but rule-abiding and fun. Of course the best part of derby is choosing your name. I got to watch Smarty Pants (jersey number 4.0), Skank (jersey number C34), and Acute Angel (jersey number < 90*). And then I bought a t-shirt.
Of course they had a electronic musician in a bear suit. Also, free Soy Joys. So really, an Austin original. But I was getting kind of tired and I wanted to walk home before it got dark so, not having to wait for anyone else, I left when I felt like it.
Walking back down 6th street, I saw plenty of evidence as to the Republic of Texas biker rally. Turns out that 6th street bars appeal to biker clubs. For dinner I went to Pita Pit. Turns out Pita Pit doesn't appeal to biker clubs. The teenagers there said things had been kind of slow. "We're bringing a fly back to life," the older black kid said when I ask him about some excited comments he had made to the skinny little white kid with the faintly purple streaks in his hair. The purple-haired pierced kid explained to me that if you drowned a fly, you could bring it back to life by covering it in salt. "Makes you wonder," he said philosophically, "if they really drowned." They were such eager naturalists and made my black-bean whole-wheat pita with such relish that I couldn't help telling them that you can make a fly buzz around in circles if you tear off one of the very small halteres on the back. Perhaps it will lead only to further cruelty, but their enthusiasm for learning made up for any fouls to come.
So I took my pita and ate on my route back to the car. The light, by now, was truly lovely.
That was not the most magical thing of the day, though. The most magical was seeing a white squirrel.In UT lore, if you see a white squirrel on your way to take a test, you'll pass, even if you didn't study at all. It's the last resort of the indolent student. I don't have any tests, but I'm holding on to this picture for later.
I had an awful good time by myself. Could have been better with others, of course, but I wouldn't have given this evening up at all. One of the people I texted texted back that he had been on a date. I was almost hurt, but then I thought, "If I hadn't gone to the derby and just stayed home watching a movie, he would have gone on that date anyway." Hmm. cf previous post, I guess.