Have you ever noticed how long it takes to drive across West Texas? It’s an endless drive full of barbed wire and tumbleweeds, and if you’re not careful all of a sudden you’re moving at 105. Lead foot can creep up on you real quick-like in Texas. I had a basic plan for this trip, which involved spending the first half helping my momma with some hard physical labor, and the the rest full of seeing a few friends that I’ve been missing, 30 hours worth of driving, alkaline playa, and nudity. Other than that it was all about being open to whatever happened.
I took off from Austin at 9 at night, planning to drink a six pack of energy drinks and book-on-cd my way through the next 10 hours or so. I just had to make it to Las Cruces, where I visited one of my very best friends from high school and an old college buddy. Well, he’s not old. And I’m not old either. Just sayin’.
I listened to “Gods Behaving Badly,” by Marie Phillips, which took up just about the whole night and was surprising, funny, and a damn good listen. It’s read by an English-woman with a cute accent, and it’s about the gods from Mount Olympus living in present-day London in a dirty little flat with weakening powers. It’s also got a nerdy love story and some great plot twists, and manages to not be corny while being very sarcastic. I highly recommend it.
With my head buzzing from too much taurine and whatever the hell else is in energy drinks, I rolled through El Paso around 4 in the morning. El Paso looks its best late at night when you can’t see the apocalyptic waste that makes up the anus of Texas.
An hour later I was transported back to my college days, and strangely enough the same music is still on the radio from 5 years ago. The Organ Mountains are as beautiful as ever, and I had serious flashbacks for the day and a half I got to spend in the town of my alma mater. Bittersweet memories, and I had some serious nostalgia that made me miss New Mexico and almost want to come back. Almost, until I went out the next night after sleeping off my night-driving-hangover. And remembered that there’s seriously nothing to do, and that nothing ever changes. There are some things that can be great about that, but not if you ever plan to grow or change at any time in your future life. But, hey, impromptu rave party!
I didn’t get to spend enough time with my highschool buddy Mona, but thanks for letting me stay with you! I enjoyed the puppies, and seeing your beautiful new house.
On the way out as I headed for the Gila to visit Momma, I smelled the smell that most reminds me of New Mexico- roasting green chile! If you’ve never smelled this in the fall, you’re missing out. I made a pact with myself to pick up a box on my way back.
The next several days I spent helping out the Moms, but we took a break to visit the pretty little ghost town of Mogollon, a remnant of silver and copper mining days that’s still tucked away in the mountains around Glenwood.
The people who still live here are hardcore mountain men and women. We found a blackberry bramble and fought off the locals to collect enough for blackberry-apple cobbler. YUM.