“There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.”
-Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Every year around this time, I find myself reading this horrific novel again. In my mind, it’s forever associated with the progression from late summer into autumn: the increasing desert-like coolness that still lingers on the air in the morning and the shortening of the days. And a prolonged, dramatic descent into utter chaos, lawlessness, and boundaries of mankind’s depravities? Yes, I think that sums up August through October appropriately for this Aggie Football fan.
The taverns move. Or rather, there are many of them: a long progression of crawling from one to the next. Sometimes the revels are happy and memorable, other times we just want to forget immediately. At first we want the opener. Then we want the big game, the Clemson. Then we want conference play. Then we want meaningful Novembers, and eventually, we want the shimmering promise of something big in the postseason. They’re all lined up out there on the trail for us, and all we have to do is to enjoy each one of them.
So tonight, at least, there will be dancing and music. This is the first chapter in what we hope to be a long and much happier book than those we’re used to. Tonight we’re on the big stage with our big new ambitions and dreams, and no amount of past regrets or caveats can dim our optimism around tonight. Tomorrow we’ll crawl out of our blankets, dust the cobwebs off, and aim ourselves at the next tavern down the line. But that’s not a worry for us at the moment. Tonight we live only for tonight, and we’ll soak up every bit of enjoyment it has to offer. See you all in the tavern at 7:30.