On the patio of a coffee shop in South Austin a small, dull-brown lizard runs skittishly along a banister towards my table. When it comes to within about 30cm from my torso it pauses and observes the gap between itself and my table (about 20cm vertically and 3cm horizontally).
The distance measured, it leans over the edge of the banister, drops, and just about manages to cling on to the edge my table. From there, the lizard pulls itself up and makes another hesitant run to my sunglasses that sit just in front of my resting arm. It observes the glasses briefly then steps up onto them. It pauses again. Then licks the lenses, its little tongue darting out and back in, then a pause, and then another lick.
Five licks later it steps down and returns to the edge of the table, stopping occasionally and flicking its green eyelids. Once at the edge it looks up to the banister, calculates the distance again, stretches out and with an unfathomable leap, manages to grab onto the edge, effortlessly clearing a vertical distance of at least seven times its height, and continues on its way.
Earlier that morning I woke up to read the news on my phone of a shooting in a cinema in Aurora Colorado during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie. Throughout the day I desperately seek out wi-fi everywhere I go and attempt to find out all the latest developments. Little can gleaned. Later that day I walk around the campus of Austin University where, in 1966, Charles Whitman climbed the bell tower and shot at people below.