The first time I went to Austin, we drove through it on our way to Galveston and I saw the river and the bridge with the bats underneath it. The second time I went to Austin, I visited some high school friends at UT over spring break and played too much Xbox and drank too much and missed my flight to Dallas the next day (my dad was PISSED). The third time I went to Austin, I lugged around a pick-up truck full of Panavision gear all over town and filmed Blackhawk helicopters from the National Guard with a very good friend of mine who’s no longer here. The fourth time I went to Austin, I went for two weeks by myself and stayed at the Austin Motel, during which the entire U.S. economy collapsed, I swam in Barton Springs, wrote a one-act play about a Chinese man trying to convince famous impressionist painters that he was their good friend Emile Zola, and was given an ultimatum by a girl named “Elizabeth.” She said we either had to start dating for real, or I had to get lost. I chose the former. The fifth time I went to Austin, I went with Elizabeth and got food poisoning from some chili and vomited all night. The sixth time I went to Austin, I attended the Austin Film Festival because I’d placed in their screenplay competition. I saw a panelist say “It takes 7 to 10 years to break a new writer” and I wondered if it would ever happen for me. The seventh time I went to Austin, I drove down for New Years Eve with Elizabeth and my friend from Dallas, but had a terrible allergic reaction to the cedar in the air and spent the whole night sneezing uncontrollably. The eighth time I went to Austin, I spoke on a panel at the Austin Film Festival, drank way too much with my best friend and my writing partner, and spent most of the time laughing until I cried. The ninth time I went to Austin, I spoke at the Austin Film Festival again, saw friends from nearly every chapter of my life, and discovered the White Horse, which may be the best place on Earth. The tenth time I went to Austin, I premiered a TV show with my partner and the cast and our producers and the network and I got to meet Steve Wozniak. We all went to the White Horse after (except Woz).
I like Austin.
I want to be there for the eleventh time, okay?
So proud of this guy. And thanks, Austin, for being around.