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Let me count the ways

January 30, 2010

Tonight was my fourth night in Athens, and the first one I really spent out. Though I haven’t been here very long yet, I’m already thankful for a bunch of things I didn’t really expect:

A roommate
I certainly wouldn’t say I’ve gotten to know my roommate especially well beyond some superficial details, but he’s a nice enough guy. His presence has been a relief, though, from letting me know where to take my trash to telling me how to get to the Kroger to alerting me to the fact that walking to downtown from here might be through a sketchy neighborhood. I figured having a roommate might be better than not, but I didn’t realize it would pay such tangible dividends so early.

Enthusiasm
I’ve met more people than I thought I would so early, and I’ve told many of them that I’m writing a book about the Elephant 6. I expected a lot if not all of them to find this a tedious project; as Athenians, this could be a tired subject. But even though they mostly seem jaded to the fact that they couldn’t walk into a record store or bar without seeing someone related somehow to the E6, they were all pretty excited to hear about my project.

Connections
I knew there were plenty of E6ers in Athens. That’s why I moved here. But it seems like everyone here has a story. “Julian Koster came in when I was working at Kinko’s” or “Scott Spillane showed up at an art show and ate some chocolate coins that were part of an installation.” And already I’m running into people that have legitimate ties to the artists, like the girl I met tonight who does publicity for some of them. While I think some of them could make for good interviews down the road, everyone seems to have a little tidbit of useful information. For example, the publicist mentioned to me that a lot of the guys may still feel jilted by the way Kim Cooper distorted their story (she mentioned that Cooper printed a bunch of stuff that was supposed to be off the record), and that if anyone was reticent to talk to me, this was probably the reason.

Vigor
Maybe it’s the weather (I’m not yet used to 60 and sunny in January, but I think I can get there). Maybe it’s Athens’s charm. Maybe it’s the vibrant arts scene I’ve heard (and spoken) so much about. At any rate, I feel invigorated here. I feel inspired. I feel not only that I want to write this book, but that I will.

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