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I’d like to fly but I can’t even swim

Wednesday, 15 July, 2009

For those precious and valued few who read my missives, I apologize for my long absence. I preemptively apologize for the rambling nature of this one. I’m just typing as things come into my head. Coherence may or may not come later.

The business some call The Carpocalypse remains fascinating to me, but what analysis I find gets less and less based upon facts. Reading page after page about how General Motors and Chrysler Group, LLC shall fail because they do not adhere to radically failing economic theory becomes tedious. I don’t even want to throw in anymore, although I certainly shall as theory evolves into practice.

Since I’ve brought it up, I will say again: Sign me up for a Dodge Panda.

The not unanticipated heat of Summer has come several weeks early, and with unprecedented force. I’m too lazy to actually verify this, but we’ve had an entire month of daily high temperatures above 100F/38C. In this area of town, the temps are reaching a reliable 108/42 in the afternoon with plenty of oppressive desert sun. This sort of thing does happen in The Centex, but usually not until August and for less time than we’ve had. What sources for reliable freelance meteorology I find have no idea why this is persisting, and why this stationary front simply shall not move from the general area. Yes, it has something to do with the El Niño effect, but even that doesn’t seem to satisfy the people who actually know what they’re talking about.

I hate this time of year more than I can effectively communicate. Of course, the weather doesn’t really effect much more than my Pedialyte buying habits and electric bill, as I am no longer a twenty-something enchanted by going out to drink, and all other options for human activity are laughably mundane.

A number of my delusions about this town where I find myself have collapsed. In short, no matter how cynical I become about Austin and it’s environment, that cynicism falls far short of the reality. The city regularly establishes zones of redevelopment which aspires to create a faux urban environment in an area which isn’t average enough in the eyes of the typical suburbanite. A compulsively repeated phrase is “mixed use”, meaning retail below and residential above, and is very modern and novel to these heathens. The three areas, two private (The Domain and The Triangle), two public-private partnerships The Mueller development on the old airport grounds and then West Downtown would be finished except for the absence of interest in both business and residents to live or work in a appallingly expensive dead zone with little more than an abundance of automobile traffic and inaccessible retail options which require an automobile to get out of the area for things like work and practical, weekly shopping.

Another of those have been pronounced. The most conspicuously functional neighborhood in the area, and among the very few regions within the city which could be considered a proper neighborhood, shall be renovated at great public expense into another dead zone. Specifically the area within about a mile of the corner of Burnet Road and Anderson Lane. The entirety of the Austin city council and their staffs should convey themselves to a city established before 1900 and spend a few weeks there. Not only would they get out of our hair for a while, they might actually learn why these developments shall never work.

My first, primary and most long-established delusion about Austin has been shattered. It hurts. I’ll go into this after I’ve processed it properly. It is not unlike losing God all over again. Now the true rambling begins: I am resolved that one’s home smelling like the food you cook, your habits and animals is welcome. The universe is not supposed to smell like fabric softener, and most places on Earth do not. Somehow, I am no longer in my mid-20s, and not comfortable in a place that smells like nothing with the occasional hint of diesel exhaust. Nothing actually lives in this environment without excruciating effort. It is as true for people as it is for horticulture … and for she who probably thinks this song is about her: You need and want me about as much as I need and want you. Please try to find some happiness. I cannot be a part of that.

I am taking a vacation from that kind of effort. Actually, I have been for a little over a year. Three years is my record.

My Bob is brilliant. I know people don’t want to read about someone’s cat, but he gets a little more clever and a little more interesting every day. He’s discovering trees which has me needlessly worried. We’ve worked out something of a territory so he may go out for an hour or two during quiet parts of the day without me or the jacket. Folks are still commenting about how lovely he is. When the heat breaks, and I cannot imagine when that happens although it used to happen in mid-October, we shall attempt walks further than the end of the block. Perhaps even getting to the point where Bob rides in the car sans carrier. I have not actually attempted this.

With the kind assistance of people replying to a Youtube video, I have confirmed that Bob is part Bengal and may be an abandoned, poorly marked example of a relatively new breed. I feel very odd about bred cats. I mean, cats are pretty swell already and we have no shortage. Bob, either by design or accident, is something called a Toyger or, sighs for the inevitable reply from the home town crowd, a Toy Tiger.

I ought to be doing what I think people mean when they say “reach out”. However, I am just going to sit here for a few more months. I have achieved a level of overall comfort I do not deserve. A pleasant home, another charming companion, a steady supply of foodstuff, effective climate control, hot water, a personal transportation device … For me, this is big stuff. Besides, I literally don’t know how to expand my life from this place where I find myself, geographically and otherwise. I live in a world wholly dedicated to the phenomenon of “hanging out”. As long as I am useless, I may as well stay out of anyone’s hair.

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