I hung upside down - legs wide, arms long, hands grazing my feet and face facing out between my legs toward the charles river. my hamstrings were very, very tight as they’d had very little TLC the past week. Standing on the dock just past the Fairfield Bridge, i took in the MIT skyline, which now hung upside down in a cloudy sky over a slate gray river and for a split second i trained my brain to pretend the water was actually the sky. it worked and then just as quickly as it became reality, it vanished. kind of like when you look at a person you’ve known all your life and you pretend he’s a complete stranger “what do other people see when they see him?” and you can just barely conceive it and then poof! it’s gone.
This past week, I was in austin, texas to shoot a few videos for one of my clients. i’d never been to austin before and I flippn LOVED it! Between the production crew (locals), friends back east, friends out west and strangers on the street, I think we hit up about as many best food/music/coffee locales as possible for the amount of time we were there. and by as many as possible i mean about 3% of the total amount of awesomeness in that town. the place is unreal - although i question if I would say this in july. already it was in the mid-80s and it’s only March. yikes. i’m a sausage in hot weather. utterly useless.
it was pretty non-stop for the first few days, but on friday, we had a few hours to kill. the clouds blew over and soon enough it was a blazin blue sky, plenty of heat, and nothing to do. we’d exhausted the iced coffee bits, the food bits, the beer (quite frankly i don’t think I can look at another taco for some time...) Then we had the brilliant idea of heading to Ziliker Park and checking out Barton Springs. basically these springs fill this giant pool with fresh water and you can just swim and swim and swim. didn’t need to hear anymore. we were IN. there were 4 of us and in a few hot seconds we’d changed into our swimming gear (of course all the dudes had packed bathing suits but i don’t swim in hotel pools so...running clothes would do!).
in we went. it was a friday afternoon so it wasn’t too crowded, but there were still a good amount of people ranging from triathlete teams training (the spring was about 400m long and in a quarry-like place), to families, college kids to vacationers from Oz (a rowdy crew of athletic Aussies who took over the diving board area for a solid hour and were quite entertaining). I thought myself a foreigner in a foreign land and it was so delicious - yet i felt like a fraud - like my alabaster skin gave me away and if confronted, a giant emblem would appear above my head that read, "I am from a land that sees this kind of weather in July. Our water is colder. I've never had real barbeque in my life." But that didn't happen and we continued swimming in crystal clear, cool spring water at the end of march under a hot sun and eight hours later we exited the plane into 38-degree New England weather and a day later i found myself on a dock under a gray sky spitting icy rain onto my sunburned skin. not much different than the icy waters of the austin springs, and yet vastly different.
As i hung there, bent over my legs, exhaling the cold river air from my lungs i tried to imagine what an Austin-to-Boston tourist might think on a day like today. They might think “oh, boston is terrible. terrible weather, gray skies...” or maybe, “how nice to actually feel cold in spring.” or maybe they were just thinking "how strange, that a sky could mirror a river like that. like holding up a mirror, and seeing the familiar for the very first time."