I haven’t been doing a terrible amount if live blogging, largely because it takes forever to type on the iPhone. Yet here I am, wasting valuable keystrokes. Anyhow, I have absolutely adored New Mexico. It is gorgeous here, and if you’re looking for a vista, it ain’t hard to find. I was driving on NM 14 Southbound from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and passed through a little hippie haven known as Madrid. The place called to me. I popped in the coffee shop from whence the above photo was snapped (look at that hill not more than 100 yards away!), ordered a drink and say down to pick a local’s brain. After my ten minute history lesson about Madrid, wherein I got the basic story (small deserted mine town halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque for sale in the late 70’s for $75,000 (the entire town), it attracted first bikers and hippies who wanted to carry on the Haight Ashbury lifestyle, then successively artists, musicians and restauranteers. Lately, there has been an influx of New Yorkers and Californians who are bringing their uptight lifestyle (and capital) to the place, to the begrudging consternation of at least some of the locals), Ian, as my tour guide was known, opened up his vault of stories.
My mention of having been in Roswell yesterday brought a determination to Ian to convince me that he has seen a UFO. He shared his acid fueled tale from the summer of ’88 with me. He dropped a few squares with his buddy, and before they knew it, they saw a star zig-zagging at them at an unbelievable pace. Seeking confirmation only through one another, they quickly determined that they both had seen the spectacle. A short time later, the silver disk, complete with red, white and blue lights on its underside, came to a stop just before then before vanishing behind the mountain.
He went on to explain that he gets into all the conspiracy theories, and makes it a point to see all of the big speakers who come through the area. He wasn’t saying we didn’t get to the moon, he just argued that it wasn’t with our rudimentary human technology (“shooting a Roman candle through the van Allen belt”). Rather, he believes we got there through utilization of reverse engineered anti-gravity and free energy technology gained via Roswell and other sites.
I used a rare break in his speech to find an out, and sought confirmation that he was a fan of Battlestar Galactica. He was, naturally, and, his stream of consciousness working at full capacity, he was off to letting me know that Katie Sackoff was in New Mexico recently for the shooting of a film.
He also claims to have recognized within seconds that 9/11 was an inside job.
I suppose it is an unfortunate coincidence that art, acceptance and Bohemianism are frequently (but obviously not always) accompanied by a startling lack of critical thinking. For every artist in this town, there’s a tin foil hat to be donned. Often times it’s the same person.
What I’m trying to get at is that the human existence is ultimately a tragic one. We can’t have it all. Someone who devotes all of his or her time to art, or music, or cattle ranching, or reading non-fiction, or watching sports, or sci-fi, or work, or travel, or the news doesn’t have time for the others.
My trip has been tragic in this regard thus far. So numerous have been the suggestions that I’ve been unable to carry through on (and even more numerous are the ones that I haven’t even had the time to consider), and I have at times struggled with where to stop and what to see and do. I want to do it all, but I can’t.
And that’s life. In the end, my trip is life. I’m living. I took a 7 week stop in Madrid, NM from the Santa Fe of my birth to the Albuquerque of my death (adding to the metaphor, consider that Madrid is 1/3 the way from Santa Fe to Albuquerque if you’re heading south. I’m 27 (I’ll consider it proper that I make it to 81) and ultimately headed South (another metaphor – heading to hell!), and while I haven’t been able to do everything on either this trip or in life, I’m finding it increasingly easier to accept that.
The beauty is in approaching everything with wide eyes and open ears, and allowing what you like to stick. That doesn’t mean I can’t hope my friend Ian the conspiracy theorist shaves soon. Occam’s razor would do a number on him.