Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekenders on our own

Yesterday was one of those magical, open-ended summer days where one cool activity seamlessly flows into another despite not having any firm plans to do much of anything.

Kate and I met David, Rachel and young Miles Wyatt at Bookpeople before splitting up by gender for a walk around the 6th and Lamar area. We three bulls ambled up to Emerald City Press, a new coffee, magazine and flower shop owned by one of David's pals. We had a refreshing iced coffee and sampled some rather amazing organic frozen yogurt and iced toddy. My parents used to refer to an ice cold glass of Coca-Cola as a "toddy," but this was the real thing and it hit the spot.

Miles woke up from his nap when we were in Cheapo Discs. I figure it's important to start him young if we're going to have a chance in hell of still having honest-to-goursh record stores when I'm a crochety old coot. Master Wyatt has some of the biggest blue eyes you ever saw. I've never considered myself overly prone to hormonal tugs toward fatherhood, but when Miles looks up and smiles at me, I feel a lot like William Forsyth's character in Raising Arizona.

After ordering in dinner at the Wyatt house while watching the straining-to-be-transgressive Margot at the Wedding, Kate and I went back to Bookpeople to look around a little more. Before going home, we decided to take a walk through the former thicket of car dealerships that is now a thicket of expensive condos.

We walked past the Seaholm Power Plant, soon to be yet another mixed-use development making laughable promises of affordability, and across the Shoal Creek pedestrian bridge into downtown proper. As we neared Lavaca, we realized the Austin Pride Parade was in full swing.

Held in conjunction with the anniversary of 1969's Stonewall rebellion, Austin's parade is a bit tamer than companion events in San Francisco or Houston, but it was still a lot of fun. Well-coiffed drag queens and burly bears alternated with refreshing presence from corporate entities like State Farm and Wells Fargo. It was cool to see lots of families lining the street, but the most moving thing I saw was a smiling Austin police officer in uniform walking the parade route hand-in-hand with his same sex partner.

I suppose it's a bit sad that something Kate and I do without concern to publicly show our affection for one another becomes a poignant, almost revolutionary act when two people of the same gender do it. On the other hand, seeing openly gay and lesbian law enforcement officers marching in a Pride parade is forward historical change I'm glad to be witness to.

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