SXSW: Recovery

The Sunday night after SXSW never fails to be a weird experience. Although you are dog-tired, and back in your own bed, you can't sleep. A phantasmagoria of sights and sounds from the past few days runs through mind on a reel that seems to have no end.

You remember short conversations with old friends, most of whom you see too briefly to reconnect with, the hissing sound of ambient cymbal wash that bathes East Sixth Street nearly continuously for 100 or so hours, the peaceful interludes as you cross Town Lake on the Congress Street Bridge, the rickety racket of Austin's booming grackle population...

You remember the feeling of exquisite melancholy that comes over you as the sun sets on Saturday night and another SXSW is soon to come to a close. A few short hours after that and it's back to life, back to reality, as the old R&B song goes. You're out of the music bubble that is Austin for those four days in March, back among "the civilians" as it were.

Which is definitely a mixed blessing. While the civilians don't really speak your language, you are also removed from a less than healthy (to put it mildly) lifestyle of mediocre fajitas, Lone Star by the metric ton and six mile walks in the hot sun. (And Austin can be hot in March and seems to be getting hotter by the year. I don't think there has been a single cold or even cool SXSW over the past nine.)

Every year I say that this will be my last SXSW, and every year, once February rolls around, I start hearing the call.

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