One of my favorite personalities of New Mexico is desolation.
I tingle at its tableaux, especially pickup trucks parked randomly – slantwise on farm roads overgrown with buffalo grass. Parked on dust ravaged, ghostly earth. Earth that crawls continually toward the gaunt hills of a frontier desert, across a basin bottom that fillets before them, across those boundless flounder-flat plains.
This is also a portrait of my heart, I realize – a montage of rusty and hollowing. A still life of my red-clay heart sinking into fields of somber silt. Left behind by the thoughtlessness of time.
What attracts me to inertia is its potential. The power, love and wisdom that can flow through once the current is turned on.
I love the stillness of potential:
The hour just before dawn
The heart just before it loves
The marooned truck just before its engine ignites
The moments after death before the soul transitions
It’s all so scintillating.
I look at my heart like a crazy cartoon outlined in black and I color it with ridiculously intense colors, trying to resuscitate it. Inflate it. Give it a second birth. Just as I do with marooned trucks that I adopt roadside.
Sometimes my heart feels like a sordid red satin curtsying cowgirl at the close of the fair. Waiting for her night shift to end. For night to run away, chased on its heels by dawn’s bloody fingertips.
I both fear and crave abandonment. I’m afraid of being totally unloved, yet, I want the world to leave me alone – to cast me into a field of decaying carnival rides. I want the corpse of the barker to kiss me goodnight on the boardwalk at midnight.
I’m a Jersey girl by birth, and, that birthmark can erupt like a wounded tattoo and go bankrupt without warning. I need my hood-love sometimes to tether my bilingual life to a knot in sea-beaten, sun-bleached wood.
It’s a moment after twilight and I’m angry.
The anger is born from me not knowing how to operate the instrument panel of my vehicle. The owner’s manual burned when my father died and no one has edited a new reference book.
I sense that if I have the keys and can read the dials and shift the gears, that I can save myself. That I can drive my forlorn prairie schooner out of the desert’s talcum powder dust, and into the merger of life’s crossroads.
In the quest for meaning, I know that many walks, or drives, through the lion’s den are required.
But right now, I’m still angry. Or, I’m angrier still because my dearest friend died last autumn. The last of the true friends.
Now I only face faux friends who charge me an exchange rate for likes and favorites and follows and comments and hashtags and stats that exceed the galaxy.
I hate bartering for friendship, for love.
I hate haggling in the brothel of Wall Street relationships, waiting for the bell to ring; waiting for the net to connect; waiting for inane conversation to begin only to bring shine to the ego of another and shadow to the heart of my vacant vehicle – dying little by little.
Yeah. I’ve been on the road all my life . . . out there running just to be on the run.
I need a little off-roading time for quiet, detailed contemplation.
I need to bury my burdens like a velveteen rabbit and learn to drive my own vehicle of soul back to the original destination from which I departed eons ago.