Updated: May 19
Austin, Texas 1992-3ish. I know it was summer Pete died. When you don't have to know what day it is, you don't. Friday's meant nothing to me because I was going out 7 days a week and had yet to look for work since arriving in the little big city, living in a rent-controlled apartment off I-35 and Riverside for $300/month. I went to Austin with dreams of doing hair for punk rockers and I found out very quickly that punk rockers do their own hair. Literally, with the cheapest product you have ever seen and most of the time they are happy when their hair has a chemical blowout and burns off in patches. That's punk.
Sharing the apartment with my high school friend Cindy after I got my cosmetology license we high-tailed it out of Brenham as fast as we could. Town Lake Apartments on the East Side was where we were, one exit away from downtown 6th Street.
We lived a few apartments down from 2 punk rock guys named Turtle and Dave that helped us load our boxes in with the help of a hefty tip handed over by John my friends' dad. Dave was a character, his hair was cherry red, he colored his teeth black with sharpies, and wore a band-aid on his face for no apparent reason. His clothes were torn and dirty. He smelled stale and musty most of the time so we kept him at arm's length. Looks can be deceiving because he was a very nice kid. So I introduced myself and wanted to know where he gets his hair done when he informed me he did his own and was able to see it first hand one day, as he poured Clorox in his already bleached hair, then when it was bleach yellow he put cherry kool-aid in it. Wow. Can you say, over-processed? Well, that is an understatement.
Having met several of his friends all of which didn't have a dime and all did their own hair, Elmer's glue for the mohawks, and most had a jar or two of manic panic for color. I could see I wasn't going to make a living in Austin trying to do punk rock hair.
My roommate on the other hand had a full-time job and was diligently working and being responsible. She was serious, she was here to live. The love of her life was here and she wasn't going to mess it up. I, on the other hand, had just lost the love of my life and didn't give a rat's ass about responsibility. I was here to party, and party I did. I never even made it out of the house to go out each night until around 11 pm. Months went by and I was not a contributor to our living environment in any way. Food stamps and checks from home were the only things that kept me above water.
My looks had changed dramatically, I was no longer the pretty girl that was engaged to be married that same year. I had cut my hair off, very very short in fact it at times was shaved in the back and sides leaving hair on top to prove I was a girl. I colored what hair I had in purple and wore the same thing over and over. No jewelry other than beads and rubber bracelets, army fatigue shorts with a men's v-neck white tee, and army boots were given to me by a friend who had been in the army. Most of the time I wasn't very feminine. Leaving a club at 3 am alone and having to walk to your car is not the time to bring attention to yourself, so I lurked.
My routine for months was the same. Sleep all day and listen to live music at night. I loved being on 6th street going from club to club looking for the loudest, funkiest band out there and they were plenty. I found a club right off 6th street named "Mercado Caribe" that would allow me to enter for free through the front or leave the alley door cracked. Still don't know why they did that because I never talked to any of the people who worked there, but they also let me drink frozen sangria's for free every night. I was quiet as a mouse and mostly sat and listened never bothering anyone.
Thinking about it all I can come up with is the guys from the band that I followed around with guys from my hometown. We had all been in there together a few times at gigs, sitting in the back smoking dope before the shows are my best guess as to how they knew my face. Didn't matter, I got in free and that is what I did. I went to listen to music only. I rarely socialized with anyone other than to smoke dope. I spent most of my time in those months on acid as it was the cheapest and longest high I could find, plus it was everywhere you turned. I never had the money for pot but I know I smoked it every day. It was abundant. I always parked in the alley beside the club went in and sometimes dragged a few straggler musicians back to the apartment to hang out until morning. Needless to say, my roommate who had to work the next morning did not appreciate my friendliness. I was a lousy roommate now that I think about it.
What went wrong? After months of the same thing, not ever finding work always bringing home other drug addicts, feeding them our food, and being disrespectful I came home one night to an empty apartment. She had moved out with her boyfriend. The gig was up. Rent was not paid had no money to pay it. No money to buy gas or cigarettes anymore, I had burned my acid dealer because I would eat all of his acid or dose people instead of selling it. Running out of options for the most part. The last straw was when my car broke down. Stuck all by myself in that lonely apartment. Realizing what I had done never entered my mind. My dumb ass was in the hole I had dug, and couldn't get out by myself. The friends I had made over the past 6 months were just as bad or worse off than me.
The last memories I have of the apartment were lying in bed alone watching the Koresh Davidians live on my tiny black and white tv. March 3 1993 it was my birthday and Pete had almost been gone a year. I was gone..a waste..fried.
My parents came to get me...I was going home. Loaded my car on a trailer and I went back to the place I had run from in the first place. Going back to Brenham having been on drugs for 9 months straight, looking like someone else to them was bound to be a problem...right?