For the last two weeks I have been in Midland. For those who did not know: Midland is what happens when the middle class gets oil and gas and stays ramped up for about a decade and then gets a 25% pay cut. Things aren’t bad yet and if oil comes back things will be great. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE drives a pick up truck and I get the feeling that if your second vehicle is something other than a truck it means you are married. The maxim of, if your car gets stuck in a ditch in Texas just hold on some guys in a pick up truck will come by in about 30 minutes is upgraded to, if some sort of axle breaks in Midland someone with welding equipment in their truck will end up driving by in about a minute and you can kludge it enough to get to a mechanic. The only environmentalist is buried outside of town, he didn’t last very long.
The notable difference for me is the stark difference in small town driving and it’s obvious absence in Midland.
In small towns, you sometimes expect to be able to get away with going a little under 85 miles an hour on smaller streets. This is not the case in Midland. Also there are no sidewalks. The bike route is about as safe as Mad Max’s trip beyond Thunderdrome, and about as without incident as Ryan Lochte in South America. And by the way, they pulled a gun on him. It was a conversation until the gun came out, and now it’s a robbery. A lot of people are upset and say that he shouldn’t have left the country, but believe me, the Napoleonic system makes for a legal disaster. Anyone who has had a friend stuck in Mexican Jail can attest to this. Furthermore, the Brazilians who knocked over the Lochte Krewe were equally justified. If they had said, “sure get out of here, we’ll send you a letter and wait for reparations,” you know what would have happened? Allow me to demonstrate.
So back to Midland It’s like a lot of those lumber towns at the turn of the 20th century. Based on current technology, the future looks bright. They even have wind power turbines up. And for someone from a small-ish town like Midland, the kind of bizarre loop de loops of Dallas are probably completely nonsensical. As crazy as those ways and means are to a fellow from Midland, the real unhinged world to an Olympic Swimmer who has spent 8 hours per day in the pool for the last 4 years, or in this case, entire adult life, and is suddenly snapping on the euphoria of winning a stack of medals, may be really chaotic.
Only the moments where we dissappear like mist into our environment and cease to be raindrops can true experience begin. It’s like dancing, are you the goofball on the side of the dancefloor watching and critiquing or the daring sociopath on the wood throwin down the hottest moves this century? You gonna be the selfie or just take one? Midland