Today for lunch
I ate tomatoes and fresh mozzarella,
Then I opened the fridge,
I found some aged cheddar
And some dry tomatoes in olive oil
(What are those called in English anyway?)
And I ate those as well.
I think I might drink black tea now
And then green tea
And then mate with organic milk
And a drop of maple syrup.
Today outside the TV department
A woman handed me a flyer about animal cruelty.
Which is a lie.
Things are all the same
But different in ways
That seem unbearable right now.
A man is a man is a man
A poem is a poem is a poem.
I will be loved by all the wrong men
I will ride all the wrong horses
This post will be reblogged by people
Who have no fucking clue.
An Apache asked her
If she wanted to spend her life riding horses
In the wilderness
‘I will make you a full partner’ he said,
‘You are one in a billion.’
That evening she met someone
She didn’t pay any attention to.
He had driven hundreds of miles
To say hi to her in an old mining town.
Monday at the cafe
He put on his yellow sunglasses
And walked away
Thinking he would never see her again.
She watched him leave
Without knowing what to feel
And went back to her footage.
Five minutes later she got his text,
It startled her.
‘Find me. Spend the night with me.
Cowboys and Indians are stupid.
You deserve dreams.’
She drove to the hot springs,
He didn’t see him,
The phone had no reception.
She drove further to find a spot to turn around
She saw his Volkswagen in the bush.
They put their feet in the river,
Looked at stars and trees through the screen in the roof
Like she used to do in her own Volkswagen
In a different continent
With a different Matthew.
Tuesday night her car broke down
1400 miles away from home.
They waited for the tow truck taking pictures
She had never seen.
In Santa Fe
She realized her laptop was gone
With the footage shot in the Gila.
He drove all the way back to Madrid
To look for it,
He came back with a sad face.
They held each other all night
At the Silver Saddle motel.
They will bury her Jeep,
Drive his van to Chicago,
Wear matching earrings,
Start a band,
Grow tomatoes in the backyard.
Today I woke up feeling confused about last night. After a last dip in the hot mineral water I had lunch at a tiny restaurant next to my motel. The guy waiting tables was excited to see someone. I was their only customer of the day. I said “Thank you” a million times and he said “You’re welcome” a million times. He was cute and he had an earring in his left lobe. We started talking. It turns out that he is an artist and that he moved to NM recently and that he used to live in Chicago. Not just in Chicago but in Pilsen, about a block from my apartment. He told me about a secret food coop in Pilsen. I eagerly anticipate putting all those sweet organic vegetables in my mouth.
Now I am in an old mining town, Silver City. Under a ceiling fan in an old hotel, owned by the sweetest man in the West. I wish I knew what his name is. Tomorrow I will meet Joe. We will ride away into the wilderness.
Hopefully I will live to tell the tale.
I won’t be back to the electrical world until the 25th. For a while it will be just the Sun, the Moon, the Stars.
August 16th, Magdalena Mountains
This is the time of day when mosquitoes replace flies.
I am not high enough here. Here, among the alligator junipers and red and green rocks of the Magdalena mountains. There are a lot of six-legged and winged creatures. I miss the high altitude of the mountains around Taos. My yogi teabag has just informed me: “patience pays.”
Where am I going? Existentially, I am looking for home, which isn’t a place at all. Home is not New York or Chicago or Rome, even now that my brother is having a child, the first new girl in the family in thirty-four years. That is, after I was born. It is unlikely that I will have children so maybe I should do as my brother wishes, go back to Italy and make sure she gets all the important information that I had to dig out on my own since no one around me knew or bothered to tell me. I would sing her literary songs that an ill-informed person might mistake for country songs, but are, in fact, the key to understanding Everything. She would quickly learn that the owls are not what they seem. I could be the eccentric aunt, the one who wears strange clothes and has too many cats and who tells her the truth about where her meat comes from. She would either become a PETA activist or a bow hunter. But the thing is, raising children is for people who have an opinion about Life, and while I can be mistaken for a highly opinionated person I assure you that I do not have one yet. I know, plenty of people have children and don’t have the slightest clue. But now that I am approximately the same age as Dante, Jung and Nietzsche when they had their spiritual crisis I see life as something that is slipping away from me, and I think I couldn’t help feeling jealous of someone who is starting now, who could do anything and be anyone and understand things in time to actually enjoy them. I have a problem with the cyclical nature of things. I am not okay with getting old and sick and ultimately dying. Nope. I can’t accept the fact that while my mind gets sharper my body will slowly decay until ultimately my mental and emotional faculties will wither too. Not to mention the sometimes sudden death of people, animals and forests. The existence of ignorant people who unbeknownst to them hurt themselves and everything around them. The disappearance of entire species and languages and cultures. Nothing I have experienced in my life has taken me closer to accepting the hard facts of life.
I am grateful for the people who fight for equality and justice and all those things that are terribly important and that I promise I don’t take for granted. Everywhere around me human beings, animals and plants suffer as a consequence of prejudice and greed. And I often feel guilty for not being enough of an activist myself. And yet, if we all enjoyed the same rights; if no one took anything from anyone with violence; if we could sit around a table knowing that the battle is won, at last: wouldn’t our smile fade from our faces soon? Wouldn’t we gaze in each other’s eyes and realize that the inscrutable darkness at the core of Existence was now inescapable, now that we were no longer distracted by man-made catastrophes? Also, I am going to sound like a hippie so brace yourself or turn on the TV if you’d rather not hear what I have to say: we are going to lose our battles if we concentrate on the effects and not the causes. The evils of the world will fix themselves if we are able to change Man, and by that I suppose I mean that I believe in the substantial goodness of mankind. We are just terribly afraid of each other and ourselves. I don’t think the Monsanto stockholders or George Zimmerman are evil. They are afraid and they haven’t read enough poetry or Jung or sat on top of a mountain long enough.
One of the main reasons behind my three months of attempting a dialogue with nature was the need to face some darkness. Could I make friends with Nature, which personifies so many of my fears? Would She show a different face, one that I could recognize and include? Or would the relationship prescribe such a drastic transformation that I wouldn’t be myself at the end of it? I am writing these words from inside a tent. I have spent the whole day outside, in the sun. There have been times when I have thought that living outside is in itself a cure for angst. That we wouldn’t be depressed if we led a nomadic lifestyle. And maybe it is so. After all, after I left my horse, my emotions have reverted to their usual patterns. Now that I move around in a car and buy food at grocery stores. I am enjoying the Great Outdoors like every God-fearing, patriotic American who shops for ammunition at Walmart rather than being truly inside of nature. How do I change this?
This morning a guy in a big truck drove by my tent wearing a camouflage hat. “Have you seen the bear? Those men are chasing him down that mountain with dogs! I’m going there now!”
August 17th, Truth Or Consequences, NM
One way to change this is by spending five full days riding horses in the wildest of wildernesses with an Apache guide. This will happen soon. Monday I will be in Silver City. After breakfast I will meet Joe Saenz and his horses.
But for now I am in Truth or Consequences. A quaint desert town with a peculiar name, which indeed derives from the radio quiz. This part of New Mexico reminds me of Sicily, which is silly because places don’t need to resemble somewhere else. This is just me trying to familiarize the unfamiliar. Oh, WHATEVER. Those bald, shrubby mountains remind me of Sicily and I’m okay with it. It’s hot and dry and there are hot springs like in Segesta. There is an Italian restaurant (which is really Italian American, but don’t tell anyone). The owner is a pregnant woman who looks very Sicilian. Her parents are indeed Sicilian. For some reason there are bullet holes in its windows but no one seems to care.
I spent an hour soaking in hot mineral water, hoping it would soothe my mind and heal my back, still suffering from a horse accident. Tomorrow I will have a visitor, good old Oleg who hosted me in Northern NM. Oleg doesn’t mind being a character in my blog. He wrote in a text: “Don’t be shy, I’m an exhibitionist!” But it isn’t time for that yet. When he left me in Ojo Sarco to go down to Las Cruces where he works during the week he gave me permission to look through his stuff, which I dutifully did because I am nosey and curious and I eat stories for breakfast. I found love letters, old photographs and the best artist’s book I’ve ever laid eyes upon. The Little Old Men Book.
There are so many wonderful things happening soon (which will be covered at length) and yet I am already thinking about my drive back to Chicago. I need to be back by the 1st of September. Which is crazy since I can’t leave New Mexico before the 26th or 27th. What route should I take? North through Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois or South through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois? I am tempted to take the Southern route because I sort of hate Texas and most of the people who are from there (except, of course, the lovely Kellen Walker). And it’s important to befriend your enemies. Also, Bill Callahan lives in Austin. Maybe I’ll swing by his house and ask him to marry me.
The Northern route is shorter and makes more sense. Plus, mountains!
Also, I don’t like driving. I always expect truck drivers to do this to me. Come save me.
And this (from here):
In the song “Drover,” you sing, “One thing about this wild, wild country…It breaks a strong, strong mind.” Do you feel like the country has broken your mind?
BC: People are taking that as a political thing, which is fine. But it’s more about perception. “Drover” is about how hardscrabble it was for [cowboys] to make their way across the country, and how difficult and bare-bones that whole part of time was. It’s also just about, if you go into the wilderness of your mind, there are a lot of scary tough things in there that can break you.