Goodbye Austin

There’s the little house on Woodward Street, the first house I owned. Small and just perfect for me. I miss you, little house, and I miss the little fantasy of growing old in you. Goodbye little house.

There’s Amy’s Ice Cream. I’ve never been the biggest ice cream fan, but I was glad to take someone who truly enjoyed you there, for this last time. Goodbye Amy’s.

There’s the friend’s house where so often I’ve stayed when I’ve come to visit. A cousin recently moved in to the guest room. I was so glad to have dinner there one last time, and to see everyone. I know the friends will keep in touch, but goodbye to the visits. I will have many fond memories of you. The times we had Salt Lick for dinner, the times we’ve cooked. The movies we’ve watched (even that one that none of us liked!). Even the times, like last night, when I got overwhelmed by my allergies to the cats, achoo, achoo. I hope you know how grateful I have been for the hospitality, for the friendship, for all of the memories. Goodbye, goodbye.

There’s the Town Lake Trail. How many times did I run that 4 mile loop from First Street to the Mopac bridge, and back again? Not recently, but there were years of getting out there at 6:30 in the morning to meet friends to run. I remember the time we saw a hot air balloon skimming just above the water, and we were afraid the people would fall in and we’d have to rescue them in the winter cold. Walking down to the Trail of Lights. Spotting poison ivy next to the trail. Finally renting a kayak on Town Lake, a thing I meant to do some day for years, and have done several times in the past years. Biking around you today, and seeing the new boardwalk — connectivity. Such a jewel for the City of Austin. I am sure it took political effort and willpower to get that built, but, like always, the most valuable part of the trail is the last piece built that connects it all together. Goodbye Town Lake Trail.

Barton Springs Pool. Rarely visited when I lived here. Not the best place for swimming laps, we were always going somewhere else for that. But your water is amazing and cold as blazes, just as everyone says. You get out and are cool for a long while afterwards, even walking or biking in the sun. And so pretty, this piece of Austin. You can do back dives and back flips off the pool, even though I didn’t today. It is so cold, so cold, in that diving area. Goodbye Barton Springs Pool.

One last trip to REI, one last trip to Title Nine Sports, but I’ll find you again in Seattle. Central Market on the other hand, the original one, only in Texas for you. I remember when you were built in 1994, and I remember too, the little table that overlooked the market. I came early and camped up there at least twice on Christmas Eve to see all the crazy overwhelmed shoppers below in the long long lines. It was such fun to sit upstairs, above it all, watching everyone’s last minute preparations in peace. The Sunday morning trips to the South Lamar store, with a newspaper, hoping that today might be the day that I’d end up in a conversation with the man that would become the love of my life. It never happened; rarely did I talk to anyone else. I still liked having my breakfast and reading the paper and enjoying being there. Goodbye Central Market.

All the friends I have here, made in graduate school, and afterwards. Martial arts friends, and bicycling advocates, those I went to school with or worked with. Lunches and dinners after martial arts class, brunches at Austin Diner. You don’t lose people in the same way you lose places, since you can still keep in touch. I will miss you too, especially those I see most often often. Maybe some of you will take a trip to Seattle and we can meet up. I am sure I will be back. At least on occasion. Goodbye friends, I wish I got to see all of you on this last trip.