12.03.2010 - 15.03.2010 75 °F
i am not a fan of cities. the mixture of anonymity and exhaust fumes empties my soul. seeking out the pockets of weird that exist in the shadows of the high rises, underneath the noses of the bankers, lawyers and ceos that populate the shiny places; the culture of the strange is where i feel most at home in my skin. the search tends to be exhausting, tedious, exhilarating. at times, the fruitlessness drives me to flee. rarely does a city open its arms and embrace the weird. never before have i experienced as much beautiful oddity as i have found in three days in this little blue oasis in a big red state.
austin is a city where artists outnumber admins, outcasts drive out straight-edges, and odd is greater than even. it is a city populated by the progressive. in other words: i am in love. i moved out to california seeking a place where i fit when home no longer felt like home. what i found was a community of conservatism that out-damned even the most judgmental parts of the christian reformed community that i was raised in. heartbroken, i packed my things and planned my return to the pockets of weirdness i had found amidst the constrictive confines of the city of my birth.
being the rebellious person that i am, i took the scenic route. heading south to avoid the inevitable for as long as possible, i went out of my way to visit some friends in texas. a place that i never dreamed i would find welcoming, the texas of my imagination was populated by the Bushes, neo-nazis and tumbleweeds. every person i told about my upcoming adventures grimaced when i mentioned that my proposed path crossed these desolate plains. more times than i can count, i was met with incredulity when mentioning the state of Walker, Texas Ranger and rodeo madness. i was told horror stories and warned to cross as quickly as possible to save my sanity.
what none of us expected was for me to find what i was looking for.