In Athens, we parked downtown and had coffee, then spent some time walking about Washington, Clayton and Lumpkin, revisiting the few of my old haunts that have survived, being appalled that a Starbuck's has replaced Blue Sky Coffee, and so forth. We crossed Broad and walked about the UGA quad a bit. There were squirrels everywhere, and bright yellow scatters of fallen ginkgo leaves and green islands of magnolias. We went down Washington to the 40-Watt Club and Pain and Wonder Tattoo, the scene of much of my misspent youth. Well, maybe not misspent, but definitely spent. The cold made my ears ache, and as the sun began to set, we headed back to the car. We drove over to Meigs Street, not far from where I lived from April 1994 until August 1997, because I wanted to find the spot where Addison Lynch's house will be in the novel. And then we headed home, taking 316 back to I-85 and Atlanta.
A total of 254 miles on the odometer. We were back home about 8 p.m.
It is impossible to visit Athens and not come away with a heavy sort of melancholy. Even with all the changes, it seems so much the same, and so much happened to me there. It's one of the few places that has ever felt like home to me. Oh, yeah, here are five photos, a not-quite random glimpse at the day (behind the cut):
What most of the day looked like.
A remarkable house we spotted in Philomath.
Detail of same.
Bizarro Wuxtry in Athens, one of the first places I ever did a signing.
On the UGA quad, yellow ginkgo leaves, green magnolia and holly.
When the world is a monster,
Bad to swallow you whole,
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in.
Throw your trolls out the door.
If you're needing inspiration,
Philomath is where I go by dawn.
Lawyer Jeff he knows the lowdown.
He's mighty bad to visit home.
I've been there, I know the way.
(Can't get there from here)
(R.E.M., "Can't Get There From Here")
Last night, some genuinely wonderful rp in Second Life. But not much else to report. Oh, I did get a check for $40.01 for royalties on "Escape Artist" from The Sandman: Book of Dreams. This is another of the three or four of my 100+ short-story sales that occasionally brings in a royalty check. That story was written in the summer of 1994, not long after I'd moved to Athens.
I'm not well today, in any sense, and I've somehow managed to be up since 11 ayem without having yet eaten anything, which isn't helping, I'm sure.