Saturday, August 18, 2007

Small Austin!

Last night, on my way to the wastelands of the north to check in on Robbie's kitten, I got a call from my sister Margie, who had locked herself out of the house where she's temporarily staying. "It's off North Loop, near Guadalupe," she told me.

I know the area well. I lived in a little house right off North Loop many years ago, and then my then-future-now-ex-husband and I moved to the house on North Loop where our son was born in 1990. We drove past it on the way to pick up Margie. "Look!" I said to Eric. "That's it, right there. You were born in that house."

"That one?" he said. "Eeugggh."


It was a really cute little house: two bedrooms, one bath, a nice-enough-sized living room and a big open kitchen. It didn't have central air, just one large window unit in the living room, which we ran as little as possible because of the expense. The only phone jack was at the end of the short hallway, which had a little alcove with a shelf for the phone. Below the phone shelf was another one for the phone book, which wouldn't fit because it was too thick.

The yard was huge and really nice, except that every ten minutes or so, an airplane would scream thundering overhead, momentarily blacking out the whole sky, so close you felt like you could reach up and touch its belly. The noise was absolutely deafening. You got used to it. The rent was $350 a month.

After picking up Margie we passed the other house where I had lived, before, a three-bedroom I had shared with two roommates. "I lived there when I met my ex-husband," I remarked.

"Oh, wow, I'm friends with the girl who lives there now!" said Margie. "One of her roommates is moving out. I've been thinking about moving in there."

Funny, isn't it, what a small town Austin can be sometimes? The airport's gone, the area is now considered to be central, and I expect rents have gone up a smidge. But the neighborhood still looks pretty much the same as I remember. Many of the houses still sport window units. And it's still cute.

Eric piped up from the backseat. "Just try not to marry my dad," he told Margie.


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