Met Dean at Spider House in Austin on my way up from Mexico, still reeling from cheap tequila and the desert sun and burnt-skinned girls who sold oranges on corners. The place was nestled behind a barbeque joint and a blood bank (go figure) yet was thick with that musty, laid-back feeling of old. Serenity, to put it casually, was overpowering. Got the coffee dark and loaded it with vanilla and we sat outside under Christmas lights in rusty lawn furniture, talking over cigarettes and hummus on pita bread about how the town was changing around us and how hard it was to find places like this nowadays, places where life could slow. College kids rolled in and out, lots of black clothes furiously scribbling in notebooks, a little Miles Davis floating lazily through the speakers, and Dean said at that moment it felt like he could stay in that place forever. Thank God some things never change.
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