Today is being spent in recovery mode. I’m tired, sore, sunburned, blitzed. Yesterday was a big expense on me. It was…busy. Nothing of any lasting importance, mostly. Just a large expenditure of energy, and I’m not accustomed to that. Aside from a few bright spots, it feels more like a waste of energy.
I went to Eeyore’s Birthday.
I wanted to do it all up right, so I played the part of Joe Pedestrian. I opted to leave the car at home and catch the number 5 southbound from my apartment down to where it transfers to 338 southbound. Got to the park at 1pm. The busride home was an abject failure; sat in the sun for 40 minutes waiting on the 338 northbound, then when I got to the transfer point, I saw on the schedule that I’d have to wait another 25 minutes for the 5 northbound. Fuck that. Thirty minutes later, the number 5 whizzed past me as I was walking back home. Capmet inefficiency in action.
I only stayed at the festival for an hour and half. It’s not my scene anymore. I’m not sure it ever was. I saw three people I recognized, and not one of them was a friend of mine. There was the World’s Tallest Hippy, the dude who rides his bicycle wearing a thong on his ass and a fluffy cat on his shoulders (he was wearing shorts), and The Silver Man. I saw no one else that I knew, not even the people I expected to show up.
There was only one drum circle this year, and it was rather pale. Maybe I was there too early for it to really cook, but there it was: lame. No viceral throngs jumping and grinding. Just an open space where the few who felt like dancing threw themselves around among the four disorganized clumps of drummers getting drunk on their own rhythms and five-hundred onlookers standing there with their cameras held high.
Beating a drum does not make you a drummer.
It’s not quite the free-thinking and self-expression rite of spring that it used to be. It’s family-friendly now. Not so many people dressed up in costumes or flopping around toplessly or passing the douchie on the left-hand side. The festival seems to attract people (like me) who are there because it’s “uniquely Austin”, and that by going we can make a tenuous grasp at some slim claim on being “open minded” and so very bohemian.
It’s not my scene anymore. My season for free expression is over. I’m no longer a 20-something. I can’t look into a crowd like that and say, “ooh, fresh opportunity!” I don’t see the throngs as people I could potentially interact with; I see them as that which gets in my way. I’m thirty-something; I need some people I know there with me, not strangers. My opportunity comes from traversing the bonds I have with others, and since I went alone (my fault), and since I left alone (my fault), I can’t totally fault the festival for my poor experience. It’s just not my scene. So I vent here.
Perhaps Eeyore and I do have something in common: we hate being happy.