America Day 21 – Last Day in Austin

It’s a festival atmosphere on sixth Street today in the roasting sunshine. Rolling live music competes with the hum of the crowd. Bouncy castles bang up against face painting stalls. We paid ten bucks to park for two hours. We tried not to buy expensive souvenirs. I was designated driver for the day and ended up with the best kombucha I’ve ever had. Austin is like that. There are two vegetarians in the company and they haven’t starved. San Antonio will be the wildlands for them.
Last day in this amazing town. Our day off. Time passes as we spin around from place to place, trying to take it all in, exhausting ourselves in the process. I hived off from the group for a bit to get some meat in Franklin Barbeque. Melt in the mouth brisket. I’ve eaten so much meat in this town, despite the vegetarian options being more robust than usual. It just seemed to be the right thing to do.
Early evening saw us camped out under Congress Bridge trying to see the bats. They deliberately made the bridge to hold a roost for millions of bats, and in the summer months to early fall they all come out like they’re trying to remind Bruce Wayne he’s neglecting his duty. They’re a good thing to have around. They can eat so many mosquitos in such a short space of time. The most efficient and clean means possible of making sure that people are happy to stay up all night on the hot streets around the river. Those bats contribute to the success of Rainey Street.


It’s not much of a spectacle really though. Certainly not one to photograph without a very good lens. It took us ages to adjust our eyes to see the bloody things. Eventually as we wandered home we found a crack in the bridge further up the track where they were pouring out, but my Uber was coming and people were waiting for us in the restaurant so we only had a few minutes to see them. It was definitely a thing. I would be disappointed not to have done it.
Ditto The Continental Club, where I write this to you. Claire just came to check up on me. I’m fine. I’ve just got half an hour before this publishes and I’m planning on doing some dancing.

I have no idea who the band are, but they’re playing what they describe as genuine bona-fide Texas music, and they’re wearing ten gallon hats so they must be legit. The pianist is British though. I’m enjoying it from my little perch in the corner of the room but I look like the guy who goes to the gig and checks Facebook. So far nobody has “come up to help out that lonely guy in the corner” thank God, but I’m just motoring out words to the rythmn of the band until the little number in the corner starts with a five. Then I’m dancing y’all.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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