26 June 2011

On Texas


TXFifteen years ago today, I left the Northeast to live somewhere strange and exotic: Texas. I liked it immediately, but it did take some time for it feel like home.

It was definitely an adjustment: At one point early on I asked my mentor, "Why do so many people have cow heads on the back of their cars?" and "What's an Aggie?" People called me Sugar and Mr. Rolf (which still bothers me). And people were nice.

I really like Texas, as politically backwards and blinded by religion as it can be, and Houston has grown on me - it truly is what you make of it. I have made some great friends in Texas, and I know so many really good people. Austin, well, I don’t think it is the Mecca everybody else makes it out to be. I hope I never go back there because it is a place of such tragedy for me, where my best friend was murdered.

I may be a Yankee, but so many of my formative experiences have happened here that I call TX home. I really cut loose when I lived in Dallas, finally free from my self-imposed prison of education. To a large degree I found who I am in Houston. I saw some trying times early in my time in Houston, and now again as my parents are spending their last days here due to the cruelty of Alzheimer's. Though she hates the heat, the flying cockroaches, the pizza, and the lack of snow, Mom is glad to be here so I can manage her and Dad. And, of course, I met MC here, without whom my life would be empty.

To quote two of my three favorite bumper stickers:

"I'm not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could"


"Don't mess with Texas"

What's the third, you ask?

Why, "Kill your television", of course.