I recall distinctly the ground was wet that doubly inaugural day, but I don’t remember what the weather was like. I can only guess it was grey and cloudy and drizzling from time to time. I crossed the walkway that went diagonally from the stairwell on the south side of Wagener across the dewy green slope to a small set of steps leading up to the sidewalk along Inner Campus Drive. I didn’t mind walking slowly through all the bright, vigorous faces and only slightly chilly moist air; it was like a river flowing over me in all directions. Unfamiliar faces, unfamiliar buildings, a familiar scene in an unfamiliar place. There were people everywhere, moving in every direction, some riding bikes and snaking carefully between those on foot. I treaded my way to the riverbank: the big lecture hall at WHC, which I eventually learned and forgot was the Will C. Hogg building. With the straps securely tightened on my ratty life preserver, a book-filled relic from an age twice-removed, I made my way, intently observing faces and inwardly noting the abundance of pretty girls, callipygian in tight pants.
Today, two years and three months later, I walked out the east door of Parlin hall and turned right, my immediate destination Benedict hall. I couldn’t see the Texas Capitol building in the distance, which looks like it sits almost on the end of University Avenue from there––the old, thick trees that line the Six Pack swelled with life, reaching out to each other, filling themselves and the wind and their neighbors. The shadows, sunlight and refracted atmospheric blue tumbling through all that filled space was full of life too. Among the current that now seems to flow more serenely downstream––the result of questioned senses and regained assurance––I recognize a few faces, know a name or two. I still notice the girls, who in the Austin pre-summer have shed anything resembling pants for sundresses or tank tops and shorts. I still have the life jacket too, but I prefer to think of myself as a formless band of cool, quick water rushing to meet the lovely indifferent ocean and everything else beyond these banks.
>>inwardly noting the abundance of pretty girls, callipygian in tight pants.
I’d just like to point out, Austin is home to more beautiful people in one place than anywhere else I have ever been in my life. Just sayin’.
Also, callipygian is probably one of my most favorite words evar