Birds on a Cliff

It gets to where Austin is too much for me. I need to get away for a while. It’s not the location: it’s the crowds. I’m surrounded by a million plus people. It’s a game of “get in my way”. I just want open road; I want to drive fast, to escape, to flee, to feel the kind of wind that can only be found at 70MPH. But that is impossible here.

Really, what grinds me down is that Austin’s more of a rat race — to me — than it has been. It appears that way. I dunno. I guess it always has been, but for much of my 16 years here, I’ve lived a small enough distance from where I work that it’s just not that much trouble. But now? I’m usually stuck behind someone else.

It’s not just the traffic. It’s everything. It’s the lines. Austin is a town where the most precious resource is access. Lines around the block. Rush to get tickets. Presales sold out. 5 hour lines for the best brisket, only to have it sell out in 3 hours. Weekend brunch lines just to get on the waiting list. Competition for access. Bragging rights. Either you buck the system and get there early, or you assert your primacy somehow and buck the system so you’re first in line. Self-entitled people do well here.

I’ve long viewed Austin, and my place within it, like those documentaries where there is a jagged cliff face and it’s swarming with birds all competing for their own little nooks in the rocks to set their nest. Squawking, tussling, pushing eggs and twigs around. The ones who can’t successfully compete for space will get no brood. That is Austin. That is Dallas. That is New York. That is San Francisco. That is any major city. Access.

I just can’t compete. I’ve been trained to be too meek and yielding. I’m also not as exceptional as others, the magic people, the rock stars, the overachievers. I can do things, but I’m not as good at it. Competition. I can write, but I’m not a writer. I can make music, but I’m not a musician. I have a bicycle, but I’m not a bike punk. I can make computers do things, but I’m not a tech hitman contractor. Competition. I do my little things, and I sit squarely in the fat part of the bell curve.

I want to move some place where my particular brand of mediocrity is groundbreaking.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?