I was sitting, in East Austin, last Saturday afternoon, poking around. Typical, I suppose, for Austin, I was on a neighbor’s wireless network. Personally, after having a free-loader absorb more than a fair amount of my own bandwidth, I tend to put a password on the network. But that’s just me, I wasn’t adverse at all to soaking up free internet access. Probably just DSL because it wasn’t really fast.
However, working at the garage sale reminded me of another garage sale story. I moved to Austin at the behest of a woman. Well, that and host of other reasons, but yeah, for the sake of the story, let’s just say I followed a woman there. The girl got tired of me, that’s my story, and I was on my own. But before she tired of me, we were garage sale shopping, on a fine spring morning in Austin. The nature of the town, at that time, when the University let out, there would be a lot of material abandoned, or, better yet, for sale, cheap. Hot it was in the spring time, with the right graduating or moving on group, and there can be gold in the hills.
We wandered into one place, not a lot of stuff for sale and I looked at the jovial fellow hosting the garage sale. Buddha-like, in more than one fashion. He was also, for lack of better word, Santa-like. Buddha, Santa Claus, all about the same in my mind. Different traditions but nice guys, either way.
I recognized the guy from military background. Only, me in my best disheveled state, rather ragged, really, aggressively casual, like one Austin author called it, and my buddy, from days of yore, still with that military bearing, still able to kick hippy ass with one hand, kind yet knowing.
It was a happy reunion. More or less. By his standards, I’m somewhat of a heathen and sinner, and by my standards, I’ve found his faith a little structured, although, I freely admit, I openly admire his dedication and quiet devotion – he leads strictly by example. He also works in a healthy dose of Zen beliefs, which I would have found odd and at odds with some of his beliefs. Not in Austin.