The Vine

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Storm Surge

The storm surge of a hurricane usually means the wall of water that washes inland causing flooding and destruction and then washes back to sea, again taking its toll. But here in Austin, we have a human storm surge, which is not so much in a hurry to roll back to the coastline, even if they could. I have two "Lost Boyz" from Beaumont on my sofas. One just found out that his house is still there. The other is from further south of Beaumont, and as yet he has no word on the existance of his house, place of work, life, etc.

Later on, I will entertian a Katrina evacuee who may end up being my new housemate, paying rent with FEMA money.

Especially last weekend, when all of Houston was here, Austin was like one great big slumber party. Until we start gunning each other down, that is. As if jobs were not hard enough to come by before, now we have a sudden uncensused population surge, and I just wonder how this is going to be played out in the housing and employment markets when those $2000 check cards stop paying out.

My guests are really great guys, we have been having lots of fun and their impact on the houshold has been very positive. I even offered them first dibs on the room to be vacated end of the month. They admit that they are dazed, though. Austinites are accustomed to the funhouse affect of this town, the endless events and the party that moves from house to house to lake to creek to springs to Tex-Mex restaraunt and on it goes. But if you are displaced and out of work, or from a town where not much is ever happening, I bet Austin could become the acid trip that never ends.

So far, Texans have put aside their usual racism, classism and zenophobia, and their generosity and hospitality is of heroic proportions. Is it going to be a lasting change of temperament? This storm season could really mark a new way of life for us. I hope we have the imagination and grace to make it a permanent character development.


At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, girlie ~

Zann and I tried to make it to Austin last weekend. Alas, 2 mph on I-10, so no go. Lucky, everything was okay here.

Have you seen this blog? He is a photographer for

Love and smooches,


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