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You could strike sparks anywhere, August 19, 2002-September 11, 2006

Saturday, 27 May, 2006

Strange memories on this nervous night in Austin. Five years later? Six? Ten? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era- the kind of peak that never comes again. Austin in the middle nineties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run … but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant …

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time and which never explains, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights- or very early mornings- when I left Casino’s half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big Ford pick-up across the 360 Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing 517 “western-cut” jeans and a $100 motorcycle jacket booming though the night at the lights of Pflugerville and Waco and Dallas not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other side … but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was; No doubt at all about that …

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the prairie then over the Hills or down 35 to San Marcos or San Antonio …You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle, that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting- on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave …

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on Mt. Bonnell and look East and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark: that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.


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