keeping austin… something, something

ahhhh… major sigh of relief. i am sitting outside at my favorite coffee shop, flipnotics, uploading a recent magazine assignment, john coltrane playing quietly in the background, sipping my favorite french organic medium roast. it’s dreamy. partly cloudy, 70 degrees. i drove in this morning, so i could get a few last-minute work things done before enjoying the next week in my favorite city in texas – austin.

“i used to live here, you know,” i think jealously to myself. i then bitterly justify why i no longer live in austin, “well, things have changed here anyway.” but that’s not the full truth.

yes, austin has changed. a lot. i can see the new high-rises that tower above town lake. all those damned new york and LA transplants! someone let the secret out about ten years ago, and since then, just like every other cool place in this fair country, it has been slowly californicized.

but i digress. bitterly. so… the real reason i don’t live here anymore is that there simply isn’t enough work for me. i tried to make it here after college. but the work was scarce, and competition fierce. don’t get me wrong, i love competition, but the situation down here is rediculous. a young guy making his start is better of in a larger market where he can establish himself. so I sold out and went to dallas.

and so i’m a little sad. but then i look around… and i remember the good times i had here. i used to spend 8 hours a day, six days a week here at flips. before i had a laptop, i would study, roll my own cigarettes, read thoreau, daydream my time away. it was a time of free thought and incredible amounts of creative expression. granted, much of that expression was destructive, and i no longer “express” in those ways, but it was good. a time that was needed… to get me where i am, and to help me see where i want to go. but austin is like that; it can serve as a helpful transition for many of us.

austin is a place for learning. sometimes for learning about how weird all of us really are. i also learned about what i am not. and that took a long time to come to terms with, but i am happy to be able to say that now.

i miss this place. even when i’m here. so maybe more than a location, for me it was an era. but i feel like i can appreciate it more now for what it is; awesome, and weird as hell. maybe now i can move back and usher in a new era…