Category Archives: story

Travelogue 5

I had intended that my last full day of the trip be local to Albuquerque. However, there I was, aching feet, had a whole day, unlimited miles on the rental car, and no set schedule.

I drove to the southeast corner of town to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History just as it opened. The rest of ABQ was driving to work. Dispite 15 minutes of chaos as the museum’s summer campers arrived, I nearly had the place to myself. One docent, a former Los Alamos scientist, offered interesting tidbits on the exhibits.

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Travelogue 4

This story continues from Travelogue #3.

After an exhausting hike through the Sandia foothills, I was back in the rental car. Now, this car was fantastic, not like the small SUV I drive. It had a ton of features I’ve come to enjoy, like a large GPS screen, backup camera, and Bluetooth, but also safety features like sonar that lit up indicator lights to indicate obstructions all around the car, and automatic speed matching to the car in front of me if in cruise control. Tons of room, sunroof, leather seats. It was a 2018 Nissan Maxima. I ended up putting over 1000 miles on it over the week, plus a coat of New Mexico dust. Being able to DJ my own road trip from my phone, even without cell signal, was a big plus.

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Travelogue 3

This blog does a some time travelling.

In Post #1, I wrote about Alburquerque, the “place” (much of which needs to be updated having spent a few more days there and gaining additional insight into this town’s diversity). This post will revisit some of the actual trip details and impressions from the first few days.

I stayed in a hotel or motel every night. Camping options were limited with the closure of much of the backcountry due to ongoing dry conditions throughout the state. That’s honestly not a complete reason. There are campgrounds all over the place, but spots in the National Parks, Forests, Recreational Areas, etc, have to be reserved in advance. More truthfully, the package I purchased had a hotel in ABQ as part of the deal, and the idea of exploring northwest New Mexico as if spokes on a wheel, where the hub had a hot shower and pillows was better than private campgrounds and shipping or renting a tent, etc.

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Travelogue 2

West and north of Albuquerque, as I drove several hours, first through majestic, rugged mountains, I became accustomed to the driving experience where atop every climb through a pass, the world would open into a enormous scene of expansive plateaus with sporadic formations thrusting upward, islands of rock and trees.

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Travelogue 1

Just like my mind while travelling, this recording jumps from sight to insight, from notion to categorization. It is stream of experience, summarized.

Albuquerque

A sprawling place, with stones instead of grass in many of the front yards, and larger than you’d think. Every structure is earth-toned stucco, or conversely, covered in colors not naturally found on earth. The town is surrounded by desert, even where it bumps up against the mountains. Cacti and jackrabbits the size of small dogs are ubiquitous at 6000 feet, but another 3k above, in the cloud enveloped ridge to the east, it’s almost cold enough to snow in June. Colorful tanagers make the scene.

No matter where you are in town, there is a dog barking, nearby or in the distance.

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Expectations

It’s so simple to say, to learn, to not expect. Nothing is ever promised, not a long life, a fair shake, a returned compliment, a thank you, or an apology.

You can start believing in your own idea that you don’t need it. Harder, though, is initially or continually lying to yourself that you don’t want it, the feelings of validation, shared and connected excitement, a firm result, revenge, or a sense of justice. Persistence in denying the thoughts makes it a habit, but often feeling like an ascetic labor rather than a focused discipline. Our minds really want to feel our way in the world as much or more than reason with it. That’s who we are.

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Yuck!

Just a bubble of blood. I dabbed it with a paper towel that I took with me on the way out of the restroom.

The knuckle on my middle finger had been a problem for boxing, aching and sparking lightning that grounded itself in my wrist. But after some rest and repair, I felt it was ready again.

The last time was different. A change of plans turned into a night just for me, a trial run. No sparks. Old wraps and new gloves, though, had worked against me. This time, in round three, I felt the simultaneous cold and hot of bleeding.

Over a week, a small abrasion gave way to a slowly receding scab on top of the knuckle. Still, every time I reached for my keys, phone, or spare change in pockets that I recall were once roomier, I’d reopen the cut.

First a stream of red, later just a crimson dot. Bandages couldn’t stay in place, and lay ineffectively across the ridges. Sometimes I would notice the bleeding while typing on my keyboard or preparing to offer a handshake. More disturbing, the bandage was somewhere, hopefully in my pocket and not anywhere else.

It was never in my pocket, and I never found any of the ones I lost.