Page Two

Page Two
It is still light when, stuck in the sludge of another thick, hot, Texas summer evening, I start moving in slow motion, almost wishing I still lived the kind of life where this heat called for slow but serious and steady drinking. When I first moved to Texas -- and for many years after -- I hated this heat. Now, I welcome the way it seeps into my bones after work, weighting me down and wringing me out. I welcome the way it saturates the day and pervades the house.

Instead of a drink, I find my son, and we go swimming at one of the neighborhood pools. We do this almost every night; it is a good way of closing the day.

The order of the work of putting out this newspaper, which grows ever more orderly, butts up against this summer pace. The heat, the sun, the air tell you to slow down, to soak it up, to move with the heat and not against it. Around us, Austin, which used to be slow and lazy in the summer, bustles as though there were a light freeze expected. In the middle of this boom, the weather doesn't make a difference. Here at the Chronicle, the summer, once slow and leisurely, is now just work against a hotter setting. But every evening there is the pool.

There should probably be some warm, clean segue here into the Short Story Contest and how proud we are to sponsor it again this year. Something about reading by the pool, maybe, or about how summer is just a long short story or somesuch. But I can't figure it out. The Short Story Contest has always been close to the Chronicle's heart, though, encouraging our readers to write.

Instead, this: Five years and literally thousands of stories after this competition began, the winners of this year's event will read their winning submissions at 2pm, Sunday, July 14 at Book People. This event is co-sponsored by Book People, the Chronicle, Salado Creek Amber, Whole Foods, and 107.1 KGSR. We thank all the writers who submitted stories, all the judges, all the sponsors, and everyone who helped make this contest happen.

As part of the Austin Film Society's Film Noir series, I will introduce Jacque Tourneur's brilliant Out of the Past next Wednesday, July 17, at Dobie Theatre, 7:30pm. This screening is being presented by the AFS (without the assistance of Nancy Schafer). n

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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