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Lindsey’s City: Chapter 4, part 2

by on Apr.09, 2018, under 'The Blog'

— Illinois – 7 Years Ago —

“How’s your head feeling today?”

Until last night, Jessie and Mitch had been hiding their relationship from her sister, no small feat since the girls lived together. Jessie was more private with her romantic life than her younger sister, who was sitting on the couch studying her favorite book, “Advanced Techniques of Kama Sutra”.

For the past few weeks, Mitch had been sneaking over to see Jessie late at night. Last night as he visited the kitchen for a glass of water, he found her roommate had done the same. Startled in the dark, she attacked him with the closest object she could find.

“It’s still pretty sore, but I don’t think there’s any permanent damage. When you warned me this may happen, I thought you were joking.”

Walking to her room, they heard advice being offered from the couch.

“Maybe next time don’t keep secrets from someone like that. Surprises never work out like you’d hope!”

— Fort Worth – Landmark Bar and Kitchen —

Even after 6 years, Mitch still recognized the dress, her favorite that only came out for special occasions. The slim, black fit stood out in contrast next to Lindsey’s bright pink ruffles.

“So, um… somebody say something,” Lindsey pleaded. They glanced at her before quickly looking at each other again.

“I think I need a drink… and you?” She nodded and followed him to the bar. “Shiner, and uh… Chardonnay?” Again she only nodded.

As they received their drinks, Mitch’s cousin came to tell them they were moving to the next location. They finished quickly without speaking, and Mitch threw $20 on the bar.

Lindsey, standing behind them, was starting to fear she’d made a huge mistake.

— Illinois – 6 Years, 9 Months Ago —

“Jessie, I know you’re in there. Get your clothes out of the drier. I need to do laundry.”

“Alright, fine, give me a minute. I need to get dressed.”

“Oh is Mitch here? You guys really need to start putting a sock on the door or something!”

Mitch groaned and shook his head.

“She really doesn’t have any boundaries does she?”

“No, but you sort of get used to her.”

“I know she’s your sister and all, but I don’t think I’d ever willingly choose to spend time with her.”

— Fort Worth – America Gardens —

” ‘Hey Mitch, it’s been a long time, how have you been?’ ‘Oh you know, I’ve been good’ ‘Cool. Me too. Wow it’s great to see you again, how long has it been?’ ‘Too long, we should do this more often.’ ”

Since they still hadn’t spoke since meeting, Lindsey was filling in their conversation for them, doing terrible impressions of both of them.

“Ok, I’m gonna go crawl in this big ball and have people roll me around. You two will be ok with each other… right?”

They continued staring at Lindsey as she nervously backed away. They both took another drink in silence and watched as she climbed into the 6 foot inflatable ball. Holding on tight, others started pushing her around like a giant beach ball. Neither would have denied it looked like fun, any other time.

They continued sitting in silence. After pondering the balloons next to them, she finally spoke.

“Balloons smell weird. I feel like people don’t talk about that enough.”

Mitch looked at her, took another drink, and finally found some words.

“If you were looking for a non-sequitur to break the tension… well that’ll do it.”

For the first time that night, they both laughed together. As Lindsey was climbing out of the ball, she saw them embrace. Still dizzy, she managed to walk back to join their conversation.

“So after 6 years, I finally get you to Texas.”

“And my sister beat me here, go figure.” She reached over to hug Lindsey, who was now visibly relieved that they were talking.

— Illinois – 6 Years, 6 Months Ago —

“I think I’m ready to get out of Illinois. There’s just nothing here that really interests me.”


“Well, almost nothing.” He smiled and pulled her closer. “Texas has always been my long-term goal… think that would be something you’d be interested in?”

“We only moved in together a week ago, and now you’re wanting me to move to Texas with you?”

“Well, not right away, but sometime in….”


Mitch was speechless, but smiled again.

“I mean, you’re right, there’s not much to keep me here other than my sister. So why not try somewhere more exciting.”

After several quiet minutes lying in each other’s arms, Jessie suddenly worried, “I wonder how my sister will take the news… Texas doesn’t seem like a place she’d ever appreciate.”

— Fort Worth – West 7th —

“I need a lasso on my wall. Never thought I’d see that as a decoration but I love it. Whose apartment is this again?”

“No idea.”

“And why are we here?”

Lindsey was suddenly worried she may be an accomplice to breaking and entering. Her two companions were quite drunk.

“For these!” Mitch pulled some gaudy fake crowns out of a box. “Can’t have a prom without royalty!”

Lindsey took pictures as her sister joined him and posed for their royal portraits. Instead of a scepter, Mitch carried the beer he’d carried out of the bar.

— Illinois – 6 Years, 3 Months Ago —

“I think I’m going to take it. I’d start in a few months, which would give us plenty of time to get moved down. That is, if you still want to join.”

“Definitely, let’s do it!” Jessie hugged him and congratulated him on the job offer he’d just received.

Mitch called them back to confirm he’d take the job and when he’d be starting. He’d also secured a relocation bonus to move both him and Jessie down.

“I guess we need to start thinking about how we’re going to break the news to my sister.”

— Fort Worth – Social House —

“She’s wearing Blue Velvet. I told her we’d come find her when you got back.”

Mitch was at the entrance handling the ticket sales for the event. This late, he didn’t expect anyone new to actually show up, so he had left for a quick restroom break. Apparently someone had arrived in the interim.

“It’s only $20. I’ll just pay for her ticket, I’m not going to go find someone in this crowd.”

“Oh… that’s so sweet!” Lindsey jumped up and hugged Mitch.

“Really, it’s nothing.” As they settled in at their station, Lindsey watched her sister dancing to the 80s soundtrack. She would have preferred some two-steppin’, but that didn’t seem likely tonight.

“Let’s shutdown and go get a beer.”

With an hour left, there was no sense in waiting to sell more tickets. They walked the cashbox back to the unknown owner’s apartment, locked up, and returned to the bar. Walking through the crowd, Lindsey recognized someone and ran up to her.

“Oh my god this is her. Mitch, this is Blue Velvet…. Blue, this is Mitch, he paid for your ticket.”

“Oh… that’s so sweet. Thank you.” She hugged him.

“Really, it’s nothing. Why is everyone making a big deal out of this?”

She did join them for a drink though.

“So he used to date your sister, then you both moved to Texas and now you’re dating each other? I’m not sure if that’s weird or ironic… or both? How does she feel about it?”

“She’s fine with it, or at least pretends she is. She showed up here tonight, so I think that means she’s fine with it.”

“Or she came to steal him back,” Blue joked.

“Well, first she’d have to move to Texas, and I’m not sure this is a place she’d really want to be. What do you think Mitch. Mitch?”

Staring at his beer, Mitch’s thoughts were in the past…

— Illinois – 6 Years Ago —

“So what’d your sister say?”

“I haven’t told her yet. I… I’m scared.”

“She’s going to handle it fine.”

“No, not about her… about us. There’s a lot of stress we’re going to be going through, finding a house, I need a new job, getting used to a new city… I mean, what if we move down and start arguing and break up a week later?”

“Well, I’m scared too. It’s normal, it’s a huge life change, but it’s what we both want, right? At least we will have each other to get through it.”

“It is what I want, and Texas would be awesome, but I just…. I can’t do it. I don’t expect you to stay here with me, you have your new job and it’s going to be great for you.”

Mitch sat on the bed next to her, staring at the floor. Several silent minutes passed. A tear in his eye, he managed to speak one last time before his voice gave out.

“Well, I know you’re going to change your mind at some point… just let me know when, there will always be a place for you when you decide you want to join me.”

He was scared though, unsure of where they may end up in the future.

Unable to look at her, he stared ahead at the only item in the closet not yet packed…

— Fort Worth – Walking back to the Hotel —

Carrying his final beer of the evening, Mitch followed a few steps behind the sisters who were trying to keep each other vertical. Only two blocks away from the hotel, it finally looked like they would make it without stumbling.

“This was amazing, thank you for inviting me down. I think we managed to surprise him too.”

They both smiled back at Mitch and continued on their way.

“I wish you didn’t have to fly home in the morning. You’ll have to come visit more often, we have a lot of fun down here.”

“Well, you see, that’s kind of the other reason I came down this weekend… I have something to tell you.”

Turning to face Lindsey, she suddenly looked very serious.

“I miss being around you. My company has an office here, and they are going to let me transfer down, so… I’ve decided I’m going to move to Texas.”

As much as had already happened, Mitch knew something was missing from this night, and here it was, the real bombshell. He smiled, finished his beer, and continued walking past the girls.

“Well, if nothing else, this should be an adventure.”


Based on more true events than you may believe. Or that I would even believe, had I not been there…

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Lindsey’s City: Chapter 4

by on Jun.14, 2017, under 'The Blog'

“Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil?”

Had anyone been looking, they would have seen Mitch facepalm, but they weren’t, they were all focused on Will.

Mitch turned around to Lindsey.

“So, I’ve been wondering, maybe… would you want to… to go to prom with me?”

“Umm… you realize how old we are, right?”

“No! Not like prom prom. It’s this charity bar crawl my cousin is organizing called Tacky Prom. You dress up swanky, have a few drinks, and dance to crappy music. Actually, it’s not really like prom at all, though they do crown a King and Queen.” Rubbing his sweaty palms, he realized it somehow retained the awkwardness of high school.

“Sure, let’s do it, when and where?”

“Next Saturday, in Fort Worth. But let’s make a whole weekend out of it, maybe go a few other places too.”

“Wait, are you asking me to prom, or on a roadtrip?”, she asked with a big smile.

“Well… I guess both.”

As Mitch turned back to Will and his new group of friends, he saw Lindsey pull out her phone but thought nothing of it.

— Friday Night – Leaving Austin —

“I can’t believe we’re doing this… I haven’t pulled an all-nighter since college.”

Mitch, was already having doubts. He did this several times a year, but wasn’t sure Lindsey would last. It should make for an interesting trip.

“So, when do you think we’ll get to Fort Worth?”

“Probably around 5 PM tomorrow, we’ll swing by Hulen Mall and I can grab a new shirt for this suit, grab some food at Rodeo Goat, check-in to the hotel, then walk down to the prom. But, you know, nothing’s locked in, who knows what may distract us along the way.”

Mitch briefly noticed Lindsey typing on her phone before looking back up to deal with the driver next to him who apparently never learned how to merge onto a highway.

— Sunday Afternoon – Approaching Austin —

Turning off 35, Mitch looked over at Lindsey sleeping and smiled. She’d been a pretty good sport about the entire trip. He knew she was tired; he was too, but couldn’t imagine how this must be for her.

He hoped she’d enjoyed the experience. He’d been to all of these places before, but every one of them had been new for her.

He’d promised her just one of these trips but hoped she’d want to go on more.

As everyone magically does, she awoke as he turned onto her street.

“You must be so tired, do you want to come in and stay here tonight?”

“Oh thank god, I was hoping you’d ask. I’m not sure I have the energy to make it home.”

Granted, in Austin, going across the city takes about as long as the rest of their drive.

— Saturday Morning – Lake Charles, Louisiana —

“Oh my god, you were right. This is the best French Toast I’ve ever had. This is amazing! How did you find this?”

Sitting at Favorites Southern Kitchen, they were enjoying the best French Toast they’d ever had.

“Well, I always have lines out for good French Toast, and this place got a bite.” The bites were good, but Nibbles failed to deliver.

They soon returned to the casino. Having spent the night teaching her various card games and slots, Lindsey managed to come out ahead almost $400. Beginner’s luck… Mitch’s only win seemed to be the free White Russian he was holding.

After cashing out, they found themselves standing on top of the parking garage hand-in-hand watching the tugs on the river. Lindsey definitely wouldn’t have imagined a parking lot being such a wonderful moment, but it was her favorite yet. If the trip ended here, she’d be content with everything so far.

“I think it’s time to try another game… what do you know about horses?”


“Great, then you already know everything I do.”

They jumped in the car and headed for Delta Downs. Lindsey answered a chime on her phone, but Mitch was focused on driving out of the garage. Call to the Post was in just under an hour.

— Sunday Noon – West —

“I’ve heard about this place, but this is my first time trying it. I thought it may be overhyped. Definitely not disappointed.”

Sitting outside the Czech Stop, Lindsey was devouring her third kolache. She’d completely forgot about her headache.

“So what I want to know is, how do you know all of these amazing places? It’s like every place we go has better food than the last place.”

“I’d better not say. A man’s got to have a few secrets to keep himself interesting.”

There was no secret. Unlucky at cards, lucky in food…

— Saturday Noon – Vinton, Louisiana —

“So what is a… bowden?”

“Boudin… and I have no idea. I just know it’s good. And their baked beans are excellent too.”

Lindsey was buying lunch at Comeaux’s with her track winnings. She admired the quaint restaurant. Given it’s appearance from the outside, she was skeptical of Mitch’s claims. Looking at the food on her plate, she was even more so.

“This doesn’t look that appetizing. Does all Cajun food look like this?”

“Pretty much, it looks good to me.”

Lindsey took her first bite and all doubts were dismissed. After the boudin, she sampled the crawfish etouffee and the beans.

“We’re definitely coming here again.”

As she grabbed her phone, Mitch dismissed any thoughts but his food, assuming she was Instagram’ing her meal.

— Sunday Morning – Leaving Fort Worth —

“Feeling any better?”

“The pancakes helped, but my head is still aching,” Lindsey said from behind her sunglasses. She took a drink from her second bottle of Gatorade.

Stopping at Ol’ South for breakfast had helped, but they were both feeling the effects from the prior evening.

“Is every trip with you like this? Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a blast going to all of these new places, but I don’t know how much more I could handle. Thank god we got the hotel for the night.”

“Well, if we hadn’t drank so much, we probably wouldn’t have needed the hotel,” he teased. “Don’t worry, once we make it to West, I guarantee you’ll feel 100% again.”

— Saturday Afternoon – Fort Worth —

Lindsey was at the bar getting drinks, and Mitch was confident no one else here would know Will, so he wasn’t worried about stealing his jokes.

“It’s pointless!”

All of his new friends laughed, and for once Mitch didn’t shake his head disapprovingly. Someone tapped him on his shoulder, and he turned around, expecting it to be Lindsey returning with another Shiner.

Mitch froze… and stared, thoroughly shocked. Of the things he could have imagined to see on this trip, this was surely not one of them.

“Surprise!” Lindsey proclaimed.

The surprise stared back, also unsure of what to say.

Mitch’s mind raced into the past, remembering Lindsey’s constant texting, wondering how that hadn’t tipped him off. Maybe not to this, but at least that something was up.

Back in the present, he recognized the little black dress, size 2.


Based on French (Toast) Holiday and They All Danced.

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Lindsey’s City: Chapter 3

by on Apr.22, 2017, under 'The Blog'

“What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Ami was visiting from the UK, staying with her friend Kaylee. When they stepped into Fado’s for a drink that Monday night, they had no idea they would meet someone like Will.

Well past 10:00, they had planned to be at home and asleep already. Ami, vacationing in Austin, had nothing to do the next day, but Kaylee started her new job at 7:00 AM. Lindsey felt sorry for her, knowing her day was going to suck. There were six empty glasses between the two girls, and the waiter had already picked up many others. She walked back over to Mitch and saw stacks of glasses among the 20 people there.

“We should find somewhere to go dancing.”

Everyone else agreed, and they asked the waiter for their check.

Walking outside, a suggestion was made to go across the street. About half of their group was from out of town so Will felt compelled to clarify.

“Y’all cool with gay bars?”

Everyone agreed, where better to go dance. Walking in, Lindsey headed straight for the dance floor. Will and Ami went to the side to watch a game of mega-Jenga. They arrived just in time to see the tower collapse, which may have registered on the Richter scale. Mitch walked to the bar.

Most of the group, now 22 people, had only met that night. They were all friends now though, joining in on bar games, dancing, and some really, really bad singing.

— The Friday Before —

Mitch couldn’t think of a better Friday night – going to see Flatland Cavalry play at Cheatham Street Warehouse. He’d been waiting to see them again since he’d first seen them 4 months ago.

It seems like every time he met up with Will at a bar, they made new friends instantly. This night was no exception, and already Chelsea and Tiffany had joined their group. They were teachers at a high school a few hours away, a stark contrast to the mostly college kids at the show.

Chelsea was busy braiding Will’s hair. He didn’t seem to be very enthused, but it didn’t interfere with watching the show so he didn’t protest. Mitch was talking to Tiffany, trying to find out if she had any family from Illinois.

“You look just like this girl I know, Lindsey. Don’t you think Will?”

“Yeah, y’all could be sisters. Are you from – Ouch!” He definitely wasn’t enthused with the braids.

“So, this girl, is she like… attractive?” Mitch could tell she wasn’t sure what to think of this. Before he could answer in the affirmative, Will stepped in to make it weird.

“Oh yeah, she’s hot. Like everyone I know is trying to get with her.”

Mitch and Tiffany just stared, unsure of what to say. Not paying attention to them, Chelsea finally broke the silence by announcing “Done”.

Mitch recognized the chords to his favorite song. Closing his eyes, he started to dance, and thought back 4 months and 1 week ago to that fateful conversation.

After another drink, Mitch joined Lindsey on the dance floor. He was hesitant, being surrounded by some pretty good dancers, and being horrible himself. Lindsey didn’t mind though, and danced along with him.

Their group was getting pretty rowdy, and most of them were dancing along. Jim, a co-worker Mitch had somehow only met an hour before, was up on the tables. It was mildly entertaining, until he walked right off the edge and fell face first on the ground. Then it was horrifying, until a few seconds later he finally got up and continued dancing. That made it legendary.

Kaylee was staying on the edge, not dancing, and struggling just to stay standing. Lindsey was pretty sure she’d be late to work in the morning.

Ami had put back a few more drinks as well and was dancing with Will, an amazing swing dancer. She was having problems keeping up. More than once she tripped over herself and tumbled across the dance floor, once bringing Mitch down with her. Will gave up and introduced himself to some others. “What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Looking around as he danced with Lindsey, Mitch couldn’t understand how they hadn’t been kicked out yet.

“We’re headed to West Sixth, you coming?”

Mitch appraised Will’s group, now grown to include the teachers.

“Nah, I’m gonna stick with my original plan and head to Lake Charles. I didn’t stay sober tonight not to drive to the casino. Y’all have fun on Sixth.”

Tiffany looked intrigued. “Casino? That could be fun!”

“Sorry, I roll alone on these trips. You best stick with these people.”

Mitch decided to stay for the rest of the show. Soon, someone approached him and said, “Great job tonight.”

“Excuse Me?”

“You played in the opening act right?”

“Nope, not me, I’m not much of a musician.”

As the band started their final song, they gave their thanks to the crowd.

“This one is dedicated to all those with a black-X on their hands.”

Mitch noticed almost everyone’s hands go up in the air and saw X’s everywhere. Momentarily confused, he suddenly realized how old he was getting. It had been over 10 years since he’d had one of those X’s. He realized he may be getting too old to go out to college bars.

Grabbing a water at the bar on they way out, another stranger asked, “Hey man, didn’t I see you playing earlier tonight.”

“Nope, why do people keep asking me that?”

They talked a bit more as the bar cleared out. Mitch shared his plans for Lake Charles. A stranger overheard him and interjected.

“You should go to Eagle Pass. It’s only 3 hours away.”

Mitch wasn’t concerned with the distance, but he did like to visit new places.

“Screw it, why not. I’m headed South I guess.”

“24! 24! We’re going to 24!”

Granted, Will was excited about everything in life, but nothing excited him like 24 Diner after a night of drinking. He talked some of the group into joining.

Now 2 AM, they’d just put Ami and Kaylee into a cab to get home. While food probably would have done the girls some good, sleep would help as well. The grabbed another cab and proceeded to the diner.

“So they got Peach Jam and Berry Jam for the biscuits,” Will explained after they sat down to the table. “Don’t even bother with the Berry. Peach is where it is at.” The serious look on his face, and the threatening way he was holding a butter knife, was enough to convince everyone to ask for the Peach.

“Chicken and Waffles, you’re my favorite.” Will was now singing everything he wanted. Being well known here, the staff gladly provided. It helped that he kept them entertained with his jokes as well.

“What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Sitting next to Mitch, Lindsey struggled to stay awake as she laid her head on his shoulder.

After meeting Tiffany, Mitch had thought about Lindsey for the entire drive to the casino. They still hadn’t talked about their kiss five months ago, and even though they often met up, it was never alone. He decided to call her.

“I’ll be back in Austin around Noon, we should go get some lunch. I’m incredibly hungry, and I’ve got to tell someone about the World’s Worst Casino which I just visited.”

Lindsey agreed to meet Mitch at New World Deli, her favorite local spot. Mitch had never tried it, so was of course quick to agree to it.

“World’s Worst, eh?”

“Yeah, right here in Texas, who would have thought?” Mitch took another bite of his chicken salad sandwich, one of the best he’d had. It was a stark contrast in quality to the greasy restaurant where he’d had breakfast and the casino where he couldn’t even get a drink.

He finally decided to broach the subject.

“So, what’d your sister have to say about us and… that?”

“Ha, she was surprised, but not upset or anything. She said I should hang out with you more.”

“So, you’d be cool dating your sister’s ex-boyfriend?”

“Well, cool may not be the word for it. It would be weird, but I wouldn’t say no.”

Mitch didn’t say anything, but smiled.

“Under one condition… you take me on one of these random road trips you keep doing.”

“Just one? I think I can handle that.”

Waking up Tuesday morning at 8 AM, way too early after the night she’d had, Lindsey answered the ringing phone. Her sister wanted to know how things with Mitch had been going. Lindsey filled her in. Before hanging up, she had one last question.

“Hey, I kept missing the punchline to this joke last night. Have you ever heard this before?” She was in luck.

“Yeah”, Jessie exclaimed. “A carrot!”


My money is betting that Kaylee is unemployed, and I feel kinda bad about that. Kinda…

Speaking of betting, never again in Eagle Pass.

The Tiphanie Doppelgänger incident did happen, was freaky, and was made extremely awkward.

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