I woke up to the sun coming up behind the Austin sky line, David was at the art mansion at 730 to pick me up. We had a few moments before meeting the ladies, we went back to the bike/coffee shop that I first landed in and where David works, (owned by Lance Armstrong btw) I thought back to some of my favorite moments of the last five days, two-step breakdancing, hanging out with Dude Man, (I forgot to mention that Bill Murrey went by on a pedi cab during that conversation), playing washers, bboying all over 6th street, hiking the woods, seeing gwar and of course hanging out at the arts mansion. I had a breakfast burrito and a cinnamon cookie that was too soft to sell, and we took off. The barista on duty had a big cast on, double broken arm, but was in good spirits.
A friend of NLX’s called Sam, who’s from london joined in that early morning parking lot, so now I’m traveling with four women. The trip to Little Rock was long and fairly uneventful, I started to miss Austin already. I slept well in the back seat. The rumba room has awesome food and a great staff, we were asked to take the first few spots on the open mike, which didn’t really work because folks hadn’t really shown up yet, but we still had a great time and made some tips.
I went for a stroll in the waterfront park behind the venue and saw a group of about twenty black people standing in a circle, some holding helium balloons. From a distance I could tell that it was a wake; folks were crying, hugging, taking turns speaking, singing gospel. I was drawn to the group and stood by the outer circles, I overheard talk about Terrence, who was just 17. The group huddle and a young man lead us in prayer, we help up raised our fists and “hollered”. I spoke to one of Terrence’s best friends, Marcus I think his name was. They seemed to be inseparable friends, played football together, Marcus ran and Terrence threw discus in track. They had planned to go to the same university together, both to be architects, were supposed to live in the same dorm. Terrence died in a car crash en-route to florida for spring break. There was crying, but lot’s of joy too, I was told Terrence was a deeply happy person, who taught others to see the humor in painful situations, his spirit was certainly present. It seemed to me that he was living is life to the fullest, lots of friends, good at school and sports, loving life and indeed experiencing it to the utmost of his capacities. So it was a joyful celebration of a vibrant life, as well as group mourning for a collective loss. At the end of the ceremony, everyone released their balloons into the night sky, they reflected light from the city, we could see them for a good while, bouncing away in the breeze, up to heaven.