Sunday, July 7

Main Street in Lyons is busy all day long, thick with tourist traffic, National Park daytrippers, and people on Harleys. I feel invisible - walking for groceries, reading over food and a beer, watching mid-afternoon rain from the doors outside my rooms. A lot of people pass through a place like this, but you're so much background noise to most of them.

In the years since I last lived nearby, money seems to have flowed, if unevenly, into the town. Money and the cultural currents of 2000s Boulder. The coffeeshops are physically bigger, somehow less ragged in their presentation. One of them has a liquor license and serves Bloody Marys to hungover festival crowds. Somebody turned the grocery store from the kind of depressing shithole you find in a lot of small towns - freezer pizza, rotting produce - into a clean, well-lit room full of fresh bread and such. The video rental store with the angry proprietor shut down ages ago. There's a dispensary and a distillery and a decent pizza place. Rent is higher, the volume of big new houses greater, the doomed antique-and-book-and-junk stores I used to wonder through replaced by new doomed antique-etc. stores.

Long about 9:30 I realize the silence is getting to me and hook up my old stereo. I can't find antenna wire anywhere in the boxes I've opened so far. Without it, exactly two FM stations come in. One is running some kind of evangelical Christian media awards show from Nashville. For some reason, I listen this for the duration of a conversation with a hockey player who I gather is married to Carrie Underwood. Eventually I switch. This time it's an interview with a rapper of somewhat diminished celebrity whose name I never catch, followed by hours of the kind of thing that only volunteer DJs at nonprofit local radio stations ever get away with playing in the aggregate: reggae-inflected electronic miscellany, jazz covers of Radiohead, aggressively abstract sound collages.