Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Austin VII: Potts Committed
In every state it seems like there is one bubble, one spot on the map where all the states misfit toys end up. Originally, I wasn't even supposed to walk through Austin, but the people along my way, the other misfit toys of the world all steered me gently on towards Austin, a place not to be missed, at least until you go. It's a city made of glue and suction cups if you are one of us, it's hard to rip yourself away. I've been introduced to so many new and unique things here that my sense of adventure and novelty never wavered in the wind. Many times I thought of simply stopping for a few months and settling in for the music festivals and events coming up so that I could soak it all in. But I'm pot committed.
Pot committed is a term from poker that means the point at which you have thrown so much into a hand that you can't back out no matter how high the stakes get, you've committed most of your chips to the pot and to back out would mean certain doom whereas staying in gives you a chance at surviving, even winning, no matter how small. That's where I am on this walk. I'm sitting in a Jack in the Box on the way out of the city, enjoying one last meal in the comfort of civilization before I head into what many people would say was the geographical equivalent of oblivion.
Sadness about leaving this wonderful place is already being drown in the rising waters of adventure alone in the desert and solitary peace. I still don't know what the rest of this trip holds for me other than reaching the coast, but I am feeling more and more certain with every step that something is out there left to find. In Austin I dumpster dove for the first time, I was introduced to a subculture of human drug testers that are like migrant lab rats, floating from city to city going through drug trials and experiments for loads of cash and then enjoying life in the multitudes of down time they have.
At the core of it, these new lives and experiences are what we are out there trying to find each other for, whether by travel, couchsurfing or whatever, the misfit toys survive in the nooks and crannies of society. I found one of these misfit toys here at Jack, he was my dining companion and we talked about Austin and the road, how so many people, us misfits come here rolling through and then are happily trapped in its web. I'd heard it before, my host for the last few nights has many friends who were never supposed to stay, but just ended up here.
One of the only things pressing me to leave even now is the surprising loom of a deadline, I have a number of people I want to visit this summer before I go to work at the Survival School and the sudden realization that I may not even have a week in each place shocked me into movement. I suppose I'll gain momentum fast in the desert with nothing to hold me back but shaking off the tar baby that is Austin is taking a while. I should have left much earlier, I'm not out yet and it is late afternoon already, but I did go to REI several times to my benefit.
Cherry, alas, will be in a future REI Austin Garage Sale, they replaced her for me completely so my worries of her breaking mid-desert are drastically reduced. REI was not the only store which was friendly though. Storyville, a shop here had a shirt I simply had to have and they were nice enough to give it to me half-price (Seen above). It's been a good town and I thank all my ambassadors to Austin, you know who you are. I'm sure I'll be back someday and I hope to see many of you on the road somewhere again. Misfit toy: 'Skip in the Box,' signing out.