Balsamic Moon and Mercury

Balsamic Moon and Mercury

Sun in Virgo
Moon in Leo
Mercury Retrograde in Virgo —

The proper title should really read, Balsamic Moon and Mercury in Apparent Retrograde motion, but that ran too long for my comfort.

It’s about what happens when a long–term client calls and wants to meet in Austin. When Mercury is Retrograde. Just re–connecting, in–person.

“Where do you want to meet? Is that place, Mozarts, was by the Hula Hut? Still around?”

Which launches a set of flashbacks and memories.

The term, “Balsamic Moon” refers to the time when the moon is either in the sign before the moon goes new, or within forty degrees of the new moon, all depends on what definition one adheres to.

Mercury in Retrograde gets its own text, title, and booklet: The Portable Mercury Retrograde.

Balsamic Moon and Mercury

Part of this unfolded on the larger, newer, more engaging patio at Mozarts. Gorgeous spring day. We sat for an hour, I had a shot of espresso and bottled water. She had a Diet Dr. Pepper. The memories flooded back. The first one stretches a quarter of a century, or more. Buddy — Bubba — was down from Dallas, and he was coding raw html on my laptop, a relatively new Mac PowerBook 145, all the power, less costly. In glorious grey–scale. From a purely emotional standpoint, I still have that computer, more as sentimental than any kind of historical or otherwise rational reason.

We drank coffee of some kind, he coded, and remarked that this was the ideal life, on the lake, in Austin, hanging out at a coffee shop, writing computer code. The web was a new thing, and both that guy and myself, we were both used to typesetting code, which, at first blush, resembled the then nascent html format. Easy match. He was doing a new resume, if I recall, first time in digital format for him.

Mozarts, on the lake, like, in the movies? Blink and we bounce forward a half–dozen years, different Gemini, with stellar blue eyes. Most males never noticed she had eyes, or the typical Gemini above–average intelligence. We met Grace, from El Paso for an afternoon libation — Grace was in town visiting her sister.

To finish the Mozart triptych? Fishing Lake Austin, early one spring, after the bass had bedded, but before the summer onslaught of lakeside madness? Not long after Easter and Spring Break, best guess. Me and a buddy motored up on a little bass boat, tied to the rail at Mozart’s, grabbed coffee. In line, some guy says, “Hello Kramer,” and my buddy snickered, “I knew someone would know you here.”

Balsamic Moon and Mercury

For the Hula Hut, the rest of the afternoon?

Me and the client walked over to the Hula Hut, passing the place that I no longer recognize. Been two or three restaurants, be my guess. Thinking — I’m remembering stuff as I write — I recall the time I knew this was a “home” for me, visting from Arizona, I had Fried Catfish Enchiladas — can a dish like that signal home? Maybe it was called “The Lodge,” but memories are spartan at best.

So, the Hula Hut’s memories? Bit of background, the Hula Hut is a one–off joint from the folks who started Chuy’s, now a natioanl chain of Tex-Mex places with portions that are “As big as your face,” although, there’s always something special about eating at the original Chuy’s on Barton Springs road — after swimming in Barton Springs. It’s a religious experience for some of us. The Butt Hut, its frequent summer name, is Polynesian fused Tex–Mex. Weird, but serviceable.

The first is a longer version, and his telling, usually with animation, is much better. I was meeting Bubba, and I was with, best guess, Gemini? Sagittarius, maybe? He was bringing his Virgo “Sister,” and it was, like July 4th or something. I got there early, we were seated on the patio, or deck, or dock, whatever that’s called, as it extends over the water. I was attired, as usual, in shorts and Hawaiian shirt. This might pre–date the ubiquity of mobile phones, too. Real cell phones, then. $2 per minute.

He shows up, and the place is crowded, and he’s looking for me.

Bubba asks the hostess, “I’m looking for a guy, long hair, Hawaiian shirt, earrings.”

She shrugged with a gesture, Austin, and at that time, not an uncommon look.

“No, he looks like he works here.”

She shrugged again.

“You’re cute; he asked you what your birthday was…”

That identified me in a flash.

If I recall, Bubba had hair down to his ass at the time. Dates that event.

Ask him about it sometime. He’ll relate the story with more flare. Flair. Plus de savoire faire.

The old trailer park, where I lived those long and formative years, because I didn’t own a running vehicle, there was always an extra parking spot. A certain red-headed Capricorn would park there and walk the “Hike and Bike” trail, usually on a Monday, with me. Then we’d go over to Hula Hut for an afternoon repast. Became a “thing” for us. Talk about who or what we did over the weekend, just catch–up.

One November, a Monday in November, best guess, as I can’t locate the extact file pointer — we were hot and sweaty, eating and talking about the weather, as it was supposed to get cold that day. So far, it was hot and muggy, not anything unusual at all for autumn in Austin. Hot. Sultry. Muggy. I was shirtless most of the walk, and barely clothed enough to eat in a restaurant — even then.

A stiff breeze caused a line of waves to form, from placid lake water, a symbol of demarcation formed across the lake. Sitting on the dock, looking out, it was possible to see the cold front arrive. There was a clearly visible line of waves, and along with that line? The temperature dropped twenty degrees at that very moment, the wind crashing into us on the deck as the waves started pummeling the pilings.

Jumping into her “Jeep-ette,” she pulled the top up and hit the heater for the short ride — back to the trailer park.

“That was so cool! We saw winter arrive!”

Just a cold front, I’m sure Austin was warm again that winter.

Briefly, there was a moment of sympathy for the Hula Hut workers, as the servers — like us — were attired in nothing but shorts and Hawaiian shirts.

As final piece to the Hula Hut triptych? Some years back, like most near ten years passed? I ran an image or two of me fishing in the grass–mat across from the Hula Hut, and someplace, I’ll link it up if I can, images plus the story, about fishing there. Caught a small bass, had an image of me with the hut in the background. I think.

I do know we docked there, and we had lunch. Then scooted off in a bass boat.

Balsamic Moon and Mercury

The Balsamic Moon and Mercury Retrograde brought up these memories, and one purpose of a blog is a way to record them. Individually, each one has been used, in a horoscope, or background, or way to illustrate some aspect. Collectively, these memories crept upwards, bubbled up, now that it’s that Balsamic Moon and Mercury Retrograde — again.

Kramer Wetzel

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