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Walking down the street for a six pack of beer.

Friday, 28 September, 2012

The words of a man rolling over in his grave.

I wish you might be here and go with me on a sunny afternoon to Mt. Bonnell or up Barton Creek. Everywhere it is beautiful. I think we could settle most of the world’s problems to our satisfaction. And a thousand years from now friends such as we will wander over these same hills inhaling the same scents and feasting their eyes upon the same beauty, and maybe the identical matter that composes our bodies now will nourish the worm that feeds the mockingbird whose songs will go thrill over the green fields.

It wasn’t a thousand years. It was barely fifty before those words lost their power; the green fields paved over. What the people empowered to make these decisions cannot comprehend is that only people from a place as  culturally bereft as Austin, or who otherwise have missed participating in society, cannot see through the veneer.

What is happening this weekend? I walked along Airport Boulevard for almost six minutes this rush hour with no squealing tires, profanity or guy grimacing at one another at the bus stop. It cannot simply be that it is heavily clouded and merely 85 degrees. Small aircraft toting advertisements to those stranded on southbound IH-35. The train, which I forget about even if it passes within 150 yards of my home, actually had a few people on it. Northbound on the freeway is actually busier than the opposition today.

We had two tanker trucks carrying gasoline over turn on the same day this week. In the city where no one is ever inspired to explore, the primary artery into points south was simply closed during both rush hours on the same day. The few whose satnav was not addicted to limited-access highways found new more effective routes into work. Perhaps we have learned, “It can be worse.”

On these premises some guys are trimming trees and digging up the earth in preparation of some kind of plumbing work. Across 46th Street the field I teased about becoming the region’s first In-N-Out Burger is actually undergoing some kind of renewal. Guys are pulling up stumps and cracking the remnants of the old parking lot. I don’t think anything has actually existed on that spot since I’ve been in this town. Was that the old hot-tub lot?

Something wooden is burning. I hope this is by design. In the city which smells of a disturbing nothing almost all the time,  one finds the rich earth (presumably not-so-rich earth enhanced somehow with MSG), the sap of the stumps and trees, balanced by a little diesel exhaust and freshly cut grass. This would be the day to cut the grass.

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