A little more than 6 years ago Dale, Lee, and I decided to move to Austin. It started out as my idea. I had always wanted to live here. We would all talk about the possibilities of moving to this city, almost as if it were unreachable dream. Dale, Lee, and I had met in Lubbock when we were all about 19 to 21 years old. We forged a fast bond, one that was as strong as steel. If Dale and I were to leave Lubbock, then Lee just had to come with us. We could see no other way.
Dale graduated from Texas Tech and won over the hiring forces at National Instrument here in Austin. I was ready to leave the day that he got his job offer. Lee needed a little convincing. After a few weekend trips to Austin, the deal was sealed and LeeAngelo Angel of Death Martinez-Palomos was in. We packed up a giant u-haul and waved goodbye to Lubbock.
The three of us moved into a house until we could seek other arrangements. We were around each other constantly. Dale was the only one with a job when we first arrived. Lee and I both got jobs, and both lost those jobs. The stress got to us, and we began to take it out on each other. I have never loved and hated someone so much as I did Lee. There for a while, the only time we were civil with each other was during our daily oprah watching ritual. Lee would emerge from his room, enter mine, sit on the bed with me and we would watch our program. Once the show ended, Lee would be back in his room and I would stay in mine.
Our problem with each other had to do with the problems we had with ourselves. Have you ever noticed that the things you can’t stand about someone are precisely the things you do not like about yourself? It is easier to take your frustrations out on someone who mirrors your mistakes and let downs than it is to simply look at yourself and say “Something is not right here…and I need to fix it”.
The friendship Lee and I shared became fractured. Hell, it was damn near a clean break. We moved into different houses, a move that could not have come sooner….or so I though. Dale and Lee moved into a house with Josh, Cody, and Chris. I would go to that house to visit Dale, and Lee and I would ignore each other. It was very cold between the two of us. I thought I would be happy to be rid of him, but I was wrong.
One night, at Dale and Lee’s house, a group of us were playing pool in their garage. Everyone left the room, at some point, except for Lee and myself. The tension was thick as we tried to ignore each other. This time, however, something was different. I was finding myself tired of playing this game…and so was Lee. Almost at the same time, we began to tell each other how sorry we were for hurting one another. We made up, and I had my friend back. I was thrilled. For months to come, neither Lee nor I would let an encountering slip by where we were not informing the other about our appreciation for our friendship. We knew we had both been stupid, and we could not believe the time we lost because of it.
The years went by and our group of friends continued on strong. Lee would always host us for the SXSW event, allowing a group of us to stay at his house for a week. The memories that were created during this time are more precious to me than I could ever describe. Memories of disc golf, going out, hanging out, exploring the city, and just l-i-v-i-n-g were created through our shared experiences.
Lee is a huge part of the Austin that Dale and I know. Since we have lived here, he is the one person who has been through it all with us and now he is leaving.
Lee is moving back to Lubbock to finish school. He hopes to bust his ass for two years at Texas Tech so that he can return to Austin, his city….our city. Moving to Lubbock is the smartest move he can make. One can not always travel the easy road if he is trying to reach success. Lee will be able to stay with his folks, thus alleviating his work load and allowing him to achieve his academic goal. I know it is for the best, and I am happy that he made the right choice. Still, I am just so damn depressed about it. I don’t want to imagine Lee not being in this city. It does not feel right. Austin will not be the same. I will not be the same. “True friendship is when two friends can walk in opposite directions, yet remain side by side.” –unknown