Monday, June 4, 2012

In Budapest

He remembers: the last time he heard a live cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" was late February 1996 in a basement pizza parlor in Budapest before heading to the trendiest discotheque out in the warehouses by the train tracks. He thinks it was probably the only other time he had heard this song live before this past Saturday evening when he sat at Terilli's with his friends sipping a nine-year Macallan's over conversations about eurythmics and embodied phenomenology. That night in Budapest was chilly and damp; this night in Dallas hot and humid. The what-seemed-like-twenty-minute instrumental version Saturday could not hold a candle to the Hungarian-folk-singer-with-acoustic-guitar rendition all those years ago. Then, because of the music, the atmosphere, he felt ecstatic and in bliss. Now anxiously wondering when the song would end.

He remembers: the last time he ate at Terilli's was spring 1990, a few days before the Democratic primary that would put Ann Richards on the ballot to be the next Governor of Texas. He remembers that political detail because that day he and Shayne kept bumping into a woman who was working on the Richards campaign. That night he was snorting blow and drinking. Despite having been a vegetarian for four years, he ended up eating pasta with meat sauce. That was the last time he ate beef. That was twenty-two years ago, when Terilli's had only been open for a few years and before he headed to Europe for the first time in 1991 and then again a few years later when he would in February find himself listening for the first time to a live cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" in a basement pizza joint in Budapest.

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