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Journal 3
AND I TAKE A LEFT INSTEAD OF GOING STRAIGHT
Day 48 Willard Junction to Moriarty
today: 29 miles cumulative: 943

Earl takes me back into town for breakfast and to drop off his daughter. A local man with brain damage from using methamphetamines is preaching to the sky, quietly, pointing up. They give him free coffee here, so long as he is quiet. Ear l takes me back to where I left off, adios amigo. "Call me if you need anything in the next hundred mile, I can help out if anything happens." Last night I called Alissa and asked if she would like to see me for a day if I could find some way to get to Santa Fe. I will be meeting a group of people in the desert next week, maybe they could drive me in to see her for her last show in Santa Fe. But I don’t want to take a route that I am not walking so maybe I won’t.

Following the train tracks on this windy prairie I am thinking of her. Her birthday is in 5 days. At the Willard Junction there is a sign. Straight ahead to Texas, left to Santa Fe. If I am going to see her, I am going to walk to her. And I take a left at the junction and add 5 days of walking to this journey. I don’t care, I am smiling and then I am running for the first time on this trip, anything for another minute with her. There is a cross wind that makes me lean, stomping the white line again because there is no shoulder until I get to the next town, but the people on these farm roads are friendlier so I am not worried. It is easy walking because I am going home, I am going to see the woman I love, to take my offerings to God her Self, and kneel down one more time before she moves away.

Outside of Estancia there is a life sized statue of the Pope with a red cap and cement deer disciple. His face is painted yellow. Besides this it is all windy plains and some trailers and telephone poles, until I get close to Moriarty. 3 miles out of town there is an explosion. No one is hurt, and I am wondering if it was a gun, a car bomb, or an M-80. And then I se the culprits, two inbred white boys in a pickup truck, and yes, a large fire cracker meant for killing fish. Possibly the most dangerous thing that I will encounter on this journey are these inbred white boys, they are in every state, every place where people are bored, every place where there are fields and big skies, everywhere I will walk for the next 3 months. But then I remember that everything that goes around comes around, and that when I was a teenager I was one of those inbred white boys in a pickup truck and I threw fire works out of cars, and on one of these outings at the age of 16 it backfired on us and filled the car with smoke and colored streams of sparks meant for 100 feet in the air and I jumped out of the drivers side. Rolling down the street while my 1980 Datsun 210, painted primer grey, in preparation of a Duke’s of Hazzard General Lee paint job, jumped the curb and landed in someone’s backyard with Jacob Bower and Keith Staley still in the smoking compartment. So I am basically throwing firecrackers at myself, that was me 10 years ago. It all comes back around.

In Estancia I exchanges a few words with a woman named Rikki, and just as I pulling in to town she drives up beside me, with 2 kids in the passenger seat of her truck. "We were just coming to look for you, where are you going tonight?" Coffee and then a field if you know where one is. We are standing right in front of their house, and they tell me I can stay here in the yard next to the Hearse. They own a mortuary. Sure, and they invite me in and someone fixes dinner for me while Cosmo is eating and while I talk to the kids on the porch, and I have found another family. Rikki’s brother Grant owns the funeral home, and offers the office there to do some writing in, he wants to talk more, but he has to go get a body ready, he’ll be right back. In the meantime I can take a shower they say. The bathroom is full of Scooby Doo paraphernalia, and on the wall opposite the toilet there is a playboy playmate of the month, buxom blonde. Rikki’s muse?

I have the office to myself, well, almost to myself, in the next room is an 84 year old man who died in a nursery home yesterday. The other room is full of coffins. Tomorrow morning they will get up early to put the old man in one of them and they will go out and dig the grave. A shelf by the front door has 33 different urns for cremated bodies. "The Chancellor" Bronze cast box is $663, the "Grecian Bronze" individual vase is $850, or the small "keep sake version" for $313, a solid cherry box with marble top "memento urn" is $675, and the "Eternal" model individual urn is $375. The most frightening to me is the sterling silver keepsake heart necklace for $175, for those who want to wear their grandma’s ashes around their neck.

A Giant Holy Bible with the words of Jesus in red letters sits on the table covered with dust, I was hoping to find some pages marked, but it appears as if it has never been opened. Peace of mind and In your time of need pamphlets, an article called "Am I paranoid, or people avoiding me?" The back of the Bible has an illustrated dictionary. There is a drawing of the tomb of Aaron. And a description of the man. "Aaron was appointed by Jehovah to be the interpreter and ‘mouth’ (Ex. IV.16) of his brother Moses, who was ‘slow of speech.’ The actual instrument of working most of the miracles of the Exodus." That is where my name comes from, and yes, I am quite a mouth piece.

Edward Abbey said he wanted to be fed to the coyotes and then wanted everyone to go back to town and get drunk and get laid. I like the spirit of that. Don’t waste any space with my corpse. The Zoroastrians used to leave their bodies out to be picked apart by the dogs and vultures, and don’t try to stop them, because as everyone knows, in the time of Zarathustra, a cavalry commander named Stasanor had tried to make an end to the practice of exposing the dead, and this may well have been the cause of the Sogdian revolt! For the good of the people let there be no revolt! I will take the dogs and vultures just as readily, I will not be able to complain, but for your sake it would be much more enjoyable to have a burning pyre and a keg of beer on hand.

Anything but an urn.