The wonderful Kathryn Milan sent me these photos of a couple of my books on display at the Austin Central Library. Thanks, Kathryn! And thanks Austin Central Library!
And so the packing for my impending move to Kansas continues, and I came across this t-shirt:
My psychic powers tell me, dear reader, that you have two questions about this object.
The first question is, How Did You Acquire the Shirt?
In October of 2000 I was driving the cab early one morning, and I got a call to the emergency room at St. David’s Hospital. When I pulled up, a guy and two young women came out and got into the car. The guy was wearing a jacket but no shirt, and was carrying this shirt and a plastic bag. One of the young women told me he’d been in the ER to be treated for alcohol poisoning. The plastic bag was a vomit bag. I told them that if he vomited in the cab, there would be a $100 cleaning fee. The girl said he was all vomited out and empty.
So I drove them all back to the frat house, while the young women cooed over “poor Steve.”
Poor Steve indeed. I told them that "Back in my day, we didn't get alcohol poisoning!"
They didn't say anything--either they were speechless, or unimpressed.
And when I cleaned out my cab at the end of shift, I found that the guy had left the shirt behind.
The second question is, Why Did You Hang Onto the Shirt for So Long?
It was a perfectly good shirt. I washed it and even wore it a few times. Then it went into a box the last time I moved. I think for me objects acquire a sort of flypaper-like stickiness that holds onto memories—in this case, a memory of the cab days, and a memory of a drunk-ass kid who couldn't hang. Though there is also no doubt some laziness involved, and a poor job of packing during my 2003 move.
At any rate, I'm pretty sure that I can retain the memory without the shirt.
And the shirt is now in the dumpster….