I'm in my hotel room in the middle of downtown Fort Worth, Texas, and I look up from my book as bells ring out the nine o'clock hour from the Town Hall a few blocks away. A sense of calm settles over me, for reasons that are wrapped in up the gauze of childhood memories. I've only been here for two days but feel like it's been a week. Forth Worth is like a lot of new developing urban areas - the big city scaled down to manageable size. Which means that you get all the things you'd expect from a city but without any of that palpable sensation that comes from the hustle and buzz of a Chicago or Boston or New York.
Still, it's nice, and the selection of cowboy boots is impressive. Texans are friendly and willing to overlook the worn leather sandals poking out from the scuffed cuffs of yourjeans and the brown corduroy jacket only partially obscuring a faded Pink Floyd t-shirt. Right next to Riskey's Saloon is a 2-story Barnes and Noble sharing a wall with an AMC Theater. Pizzeria Uno occupies a corner a few blocks away from the infinitely cooler Flying Saucer, so named for the plethora of plates that adorn the walls rather than for any extra-terrestrial themes. The roads are brick, and at night small twinkling lights turn the plazas into private constellations.
A few hours later I'm listening the the Tosca Tango Orchestra, from the soundtrack to Richard Linklater's WAKING LIFE. Grabbed a coffee at Barnes and Noble and re-read one of my favorite poems by Charles Bukowski. It's called "For Jane: With All the Love I Had, Which was Not Enough." I think that's about the saddest and most true a poem title's ever been, and I can't stop thinking about how much I want to get back home.