Summer arrives in March in Austin.
We were walking around the lake downtown, week day afternoon. We crossed a bridge, the one with a sign that says ' No jumping in the water,' and group of lads with pale skin and scruffy beards were taking turns climbing over the handrail and jumping into the water. At the far end of the bridge the kid in the photo above was clambering out of the water, a ridiculous grin spread across his features. I noticed his shorts, bearing the Manchester United insignia. 'Nice shorts,' I said. 'Thanks. Are you British? Where are you from?' 'I'm from Manchester,' I said. 'Fucking brilliant. Come here. Let me show you something.' For whatever reason, we followed, curious as to what he had to show us. Along the way - about 25 yards distance - he gave us a brief life history, told us how he'd been born in Germany yet had dual citizenship, and how he'd had to pass a test at age seven to keep the dual citizenship. He was eighteen, he said, and now he could go 'wherever I fucking want.' His accent was unplaceable - you might have thought him British.
What he'd wanted to show us was the swing he's hooked up, casting a rope over a high branch. His friends - by all appearances a bunch of stoners at a loose end - were amazed by the feat of climbing he'd managed, enabling him to cast the rope. The kid grabbed the handle at the end of the rope, leapt out over the water and flipped upside down, holding on to the handle with the back of his legs as though it were a trapeze. I didn't have my phone out, missed that pass...but then he turned upright, and I took this picture moments before he let go, plummeted into the water. 'Next time, bring some waterproof shorts,' he said. He was eighteen and having a fine time.