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Where did you find this issue of the Observer? Will he reach his high aspirations? Or will he just blow it? Read about it in the Observer. I want to subscribe to The Texas Observer Check enclosed Bill me as a man capable of redemption. I stumbled, bleary-eyed, into my dirty apartment late that night and collapsed on the floor, curling into a miserable ball on the blanket I called bed, eager for the next day to arrive so I could buy something to kill the damn bugs eating away at my groin. On finally beginning to date a higher class of man, one that drives a Saab convertible: Andy was wonderful, yes, but his biggest flaw was that he was not Nick…. But in that brief brief period during which he wined and dined and fucked me without all the usual heavy analytical bullshit, Andy got a message across. I did not have to contemplate life ever after with each man who came up the pike. I could just date, be a more refined, less drunk version of the noncommittal woman I had been in Tennessee. On. yet another disastrous family visit home to her mother and Daddy, this time travelling from Austin: It occurred to me then, as we pulled back into Penn Station, that mine was a Kryptonite Daddy, a piece of my home planet who paralyzed me and ripped my strength away whenever I got too close. I had run from him, his ideas of me as stupid, incapable, bound to fail, when I ran to planet Tampa. I had run from him to Tennessee and Missouri and Texas. I would run no more. When I was back in Austin, a few days later, my mother called as she always did, to make sure my plane hadn’t crashed. “You sound much better than when you were here,” she said. I responded, honestly, that that was because I was away from Daddy. “He wouldn’t even look at me, Mom, did you notice that?” My mother, in total denial, went on. “Well you did have your period, didn’t you?” Well bless her heart, after reading such as this, we might extend a little Texas hospitality to Spike, and let her know that we have always taken in the renegade, the emotionally overwrought and the crab-infested, and that many of these imports are not only warmly welcomed by the locals but frequently rise to prominence in our affairs of state. Indeed Gillespie’s place in our letters appears unimpeachable. She is apparently wildly popular as an on-line columnist, having been dubbed a “cyber-celebrity” by no less than USA Today. In addition to endorsements from nineties versions of the old-fashioned women’s magazines \(Hip Mama and Bust likely Texas newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, recently added Gillespie to their roster she will be writing a column on “relationships.” The vision of Spike Gillespie being a Metroplex Ms. Lonelyhearts is almost too delicious to contemplate. Gillespie was a visible participant at the recent Texas Book Festival, making two appearances, unusual prominence for a young writer with only one book. At a wittily planned panel titled “All the Wrong Men: Women Writers & the Search for Mr. Right,” Spike held her own with the real writers in the group, looked good, and clearly was enjoying her moment in the limelight. That afternoon I spotted her walking down to the children’s tent L. iding hands with her son Henry, the perfect boy in the book title. I marvelled at the sturdiness of us all and wondered how Henry and Spike would both work things out when it is time for him to go his own way. Sometimes that twentieth-century ailment we call narcissism is passed down, and it may not be too soon for Spike to wonder what Henry’s confessional might have to say. 111 8 THE TEXAS OBSERVER DECEMBER 24, 1999