IS EVERYBODY IN?
Day 39 Pie Town To The V.L.A.
today:34 miles cumulative:782
Nita and her brother Don stop by in the morning to get me for breakfast, this time we will eat at the other restaurant in town, the Pie-O-Neer where Nita cooks pies with crusts made of hearts. And we talk more about the fire and this journey and bigger journeys. Don says that he moved here because New Mexico is as close to a third world country as you can get in the US. My neighbor in Santa Fe says the same thing all the time. And a cowboy named Dale walks in with a gun in a holster on his belt. His mother, Rosa, was queen of the Pie Festival this year. And I just remembered that I never told you about the old pie shack that was on this road in the early 1900s but now I have and thats how Pie Town got its name. I will be back for the Pie festival next year, best damn cherry pie Ive ever had (sorry grandma). And the locals are friendly folk, but just before I leave a man starts talking about "ragheads" and "Iraqans" and closing all the doors, there will always be that element of uneducated racism in these places, even amongst the friendliest folks you meet. This walk would be very different if I had darker skin.
Its hard to walk away from good pie. I want to go back in and have another piece. But roll on highway. It wont stop just because I do. Still a cold wind, still looks like summer, and still feels like winter. People that I have seen before drive by and wave. The sun is hot when I am sheltered from the wind, but then there are cold shadows of trees across the road and it is cold then hot and cold again and then when I am out in the open it is very cold from the wind. There is a chain of mountains to the North, and I wonder where my head will rest when there are no mountains to watch, where my thoughts will go when all I can see is the curve of the earth.
Datil is not too far away when a car stops to talk to me. Dr. Nabakov, and he is in the area researching Indian legends. Talking to an old Acoma Indian last week he was told about a 25 foot Rattle snake that used to live near his familys village about 100 years ago. His grand father, he said was sent to watch the great snake so that it did not come into the village and eat small children and animals. And that snake he heard was in a Bar in Datil, so Dr. Nabakov came to Datil to see the giant snake skin and it is there when I get to town, hanging on the wall above a shelf of household cleaners, detergent, soap, toothpaste and S.O.S. pads. I is literally 22 feet long and looks like an Anaconda from South America but it is a Rattle Snake from Arizona. The man behind the counter says that its been here for about 60 or 70 years, and that it probably is 100 years old.
100 million years old and 7 miles long, Jim Morrisons pale gold snake carrying him across the desert and to Paris and to his death in a bathtub. "Sweat oozed from its shiny skin, is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin." My snake is this road that moves without me, no end in sight, no New York City and step off here, I am buckled into this saddle and off we go into eternity, no whiskey for me thank you very much, I know that death does not stop the snake, the lizard king. Is everybody in?
"Once I had a little game
I liked to crawl into my brain
I think you know the game I mean
I mean the game called go insane
Now you should try this little game
Just close your eyes forget your name
Forget the world forget the people
And well erect a different steeple
This little game is fun to do
Just close your eyes no way to lose
And Im right there Im going too
Release control were breaking through"
But in the restaurant I cant play the game, In the restaurant I watch people getting in and out of cars with beer and food going back to warm homes with big couches and today I want to scream at them "Get off your couches," but only so that I can get on them. No one here is taking to me, I will be back out in the cold again soon. I know that it will be a cold night tonight and I dont want numb fingers again so I buy fleece lined leather gloves to put over the fleece gloves I already have, it is that cold. Stalling, stalling hoping for someone to talk to, stalling so that I dont have to walk in the cold for one more hour. Trying to write but I dont want to be doing anything, I just want to be resting, but that is something that is hard to do when you are trying to keep up and arent I doing this so that I dont have to keep up with anything, but I have committed to writing and I havent written because its been so cold that my fingers are always stiff and hurting at the end of the day and I pass out with my pen in my hand and weeks go by where all I write are a few notes and then hopelessly behind, but I have committed and I want to get all of this madness down, but I give up again and put the note book away and just stare at the walls, trying not to do anything, knowing I will be kicked out in 30 minutes because no one here is interested in talking to me.
There is a fireplace though, and it is a good replacement when there are no people, so I stare into my muse here beneath a giant white steer head with huge horns, and the heads of other animals in this museum of death trophy hunter lounge. Too much coffee again. I have been thinking about the snake and that though makes me want to go back out and get on the ride again. It has been moving without me and I need to catch up. Take me into the plains, stars, and now a perfectly still night with half moon rising. Flat flat flat lands, the first in many weeks. The ride feels so good tonight that I will just keep walking, I dont need the people in the rest stops, I need to be here on this road, to play the game, the game called "go insane." And everyday really is insane and so many different kinds of insane, some days are loops of Alissa as the Venus perfect archetypal goddess center of the universe and then I stop and build little temples, offerings and prayers, and I am working on some holy text building a god, as men have done from the beginning, out of only the perfect memory and getting more perfect each day and no one can live up to that. And some days I am the Lizard King, and I can change the weather and the horizon and tear the veil of Maya and show myself the things that are hidden, and sometimes the insane is wanting to be back, but I have been better with that lately, because there is no going back.
34 miles today. Sleeping bag in the weeds and there is no way I will set up a tent tonight it is too cold to deal with it, but in the night time I am woken up by the cold and trying to curl my bag around Cosmo, too cold to sleep, too cold to get out of this sleeping bag and set up a tent. So I shake all night long. I love it out here.