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My Saturday and road trip to Corpus Christi with Chicano hipsters


This entire day was unreal.

I woke up in bed with a gay man and my dog. Luckily, I didn’t over sleep. I was supposed to give a class that morning and had stayed at my friend Louie’s place the night before watching bad movies and drinking wine. I gathered my things and went home to get ready for the class. I should have made coffee.

I didn’t expect many people to show up. I meant to print out flyers and put them up around town but it had slipped my mind completely. When I arrived at the library, I saw a former intern unpacking what appeared to be camera equipment.

What are you doing?

Oh hey, I don’t know if you remember me I used to intern…

Of course, I remember you. (you sat three feet away me for months)

I’m with the local station now and we’re filming these library sessions for the public channel.

Great. Because I wasn’t nervous enough. In retrospect, this was great because if no one showed up, at least there was a chance someone, somewhere would see it, even if by accident. After the class, I threatened him.

If this makes me look bad, I know where to find you now.

He laughed and said he would make it look great. I asked him if he could shop in clapping after my presentation and perhaps a glow around my entire body. He thought it was a great idea, too.

I left the library feeling incredibly accomplished for a Saturday. The local pet store was having free teeth cleaning and nail trimmings for dogs so I went to pick up Orbison. I’m pretty sure the girl who works there thinks I am the biggest freak because I always go take pictures of the gerbils and bunnies. She watches me though which makes me a bit uncomfortable but I think it’s mainly because she is kinda bored.

I feel like that dinosaur scares the crap out of him

I texted Louie when I was on my way back.

Are you alive yet?

Barely.

What time are we leaving? That is, if Caro ever finds her keys.

I know! I’m looking for them but I don’t think they are here. My apartment is a wreck.

I found the keys in my car and an hour later we headed out. Louie immediately took over the music situation because Caro is an NPR addict and he just wasn’t having it.

This is not road trip playable!

We listened to an a Capella band do covers of contemporary pop songs. We had this book in the car, the name escapes me, about sex in Chicago that Louie was actually published in. I read a story from it out loud and it sounded like the gay version of 50 Shades of Grey.

This car ride still wasn’t awkward which was nice. You really take a chance signing up to be stuck in a compact space for an extended period of time with people you haven’t known that long. What if they say something really crazy and you can’t walk away from it?

What are those Jewish quinceañeras called?

Are you talking about Bar mitzvahs?

Yes.

And thus, #shitcarosays was born.

We were headed to Corpus to do some shopping for tax-free weekend. Once we got into town Caro actually called someone to ask what mall we should go to. We all have iPhones.

But I guess it is really refreshing that she does this. Side note: on Sunday she discovered the cadillac of laundromats in Victoria by asking the woman at the customer care center in H-E-B what place she recommended.

Once we entered the mall, we realized we had not mentally prepared ourselves for tax-free weekend. Just passing by the food court may have been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. There were children, preteens, pregnant woman and obese people everywhere. If I had a penny for every time I saw a teenager wearing a shirt with the words “swag” or “yolo” on it I could hire someone to burn down the factories where those shirts are made.

After the mall, we wandered around downtown. Downtown Corpus is actually pretty neat looking if you ignore all the closed store fronts and the faint smell of fish.

Louie is always talking about Caro’s “hipster nonesense.” He is the poster child for the Chicano hipster.

The day ended with the three of us spending $180 on sushi and specialty cocktails. I ate and drank things I couldn’t pronounce, judged people, talked about my feelings and my friends talked about theirs.

Why isn’t there a place like this in Victoria?

Because people wouldn’t know what to do with it. Look at us, we can’t control ourselves.

Can I live here?

Then Caro gets all Caro and says, “I want to move to Paris. I want a cat named Bernard.” #shitcarosays

The ride back was wonderful. Caro and I bonded over random tejano music. We listened to Girl in a Coma, they’re an indie band from San Antonio that does covers of Mexican pop songs. We passed through a bridge illuminated with trippy lights and rolled down the window to take photos, marveling like children do at bubbles.

I poked my feet out the window. I always find it gross when I see people do this but this evening I understood.

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A day at the beach post-college


When you go to college in the South, a day by any large body of water is like being in your native habitat.

You might as well have grown flippers.

It didn’t matter how long you had to drive. You didn’t have to come to terms with sacrificing hours of your life to the confines of a vehicle. It was part of the excitement. Driving was still new and cool.

Now, you fight over who has to drive. You complain you never know what the speed limit is (because adhering to the rules of the road started to matter when you started to pay your own car insurance.)

Reaching the beach is still the best part. There’s that need to immediately roll down your windows and feel sandy beach air caress your cheeks.

In college, you would scour the beach for a spot next to the hottest and hugest group of people you could find. Now, if there are children or people drinking natty light within a 5k radius there is no way in hell you are stopping there.

The most important things to pack for the beach when you were in college were beer, a towel and more beer. Now, you make sure you have two types of sunscreen, a hat, water (because dehydration isn’t cool anymore) and more clothes because wearing a bikini all day was only fun when your metabolism worked like a furnace and walking up the stairs was all the exercise your body needed.

The beach itself is still heaven. Relaxing waves, rays of sun giving your body that glow everyone else is paying $60 a month for and the chance to make some memories instead of staying home and browsing Pinterest all weekend.

Another thing that changes about beach days after college–the day after.

You wake up for work. Feeling a bit warm from all the sun but still in your relaxed state. You get ready, smile as you brush your teeth because you remember you posted that one beach photo to Facebook with no caption so everyone knows you were at the beach and should be jealous but you don’t feel like you were rubbing it in.

And then you get to your car and realize you brought half the beach back home with you.

There is sand everywhere. If you weren’t holding it firmly in your hands you would swear the steering wheel was made out of seaweed. Your car smells like  homeless mermaids have been living in it with their pet fish for three weeks.

In college, this was a badge of honor. Sand in your car was a testament to your adventurous nature and spontaneity. Now it’s a testament to how poor you are because you blew all your money getting to the beach and can’t pay to have your car cleaned until Wednesday.

In the end, the beach is still one of the best experiences you can have. There’s something about throwing yourself into the vast ocean, watching fish swim past you and pelicans soar above you while the sun makes the water fall into lustrous, auburn waves that you just can’t get anywhere else.

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