They say you can’t, but I’m going home. Back to Santa Fe, the place of my rebirth, death, rebirth, death, and rebirth. Those are special places. Places where a lot of shit went down. Places with fertile fields to sow madness and mirth. And rocky soil to pull plow through. Places to choke yourself out in the yoke of toil. To sweat out Dark Eyes vodka while a jack hammer batters your Juarez dental work loose.
Magic places. Places to make all your dreams come true.
Santa Fe was one of those places. Except for the making all my dreams come true part. Some dreams are just too insane. Even for New Mexico.
And New Mexico is one weird-ass state. Totally, Marius Seal of Approval, weird. I think by now, you’ll understand the magnitude of what my certification means. This is not some corn-fed, roll-her-eyes-at-Adult Swim, mid-western housewife’s idea of weird. No.
It’s my version.
New Mexico is weird. In the best way. I think it’s the people. I swear to God, there isn’t a person in that state that isn’t some sort of character. Funny, crazy, dangerous, dumb, brilliant, beautiful, bizarre, annoying, and delightful. Name it. We got ’em all in old New Mex. The psychos I worked construction with. The artists I’ve gotten criminally drunk with. The madmen I fought in bars and parking lots. The silver spray paint huffing vagrants I learned to ballroom dance in the arroyo with. The decent cops that showed me leniency. The friends. The freaks. The ladies that taught me to love…
Then there’s the place itself.
The landscape that taught me about God. And showed me His more artsy side. The sky actually talks to you out there. Not always what you want to hear. But the signal comes in pretty clear. It’s the wideness. TV signal doesn’t scramble it’s messages as bad. Trees, rocks, water, dirt, plants. All alive. Also having something to say about it all. Happy sun. Stormy clouds. Celestial snow. Stars that stare back at you with wonder.
My big regret is that I spent so much of that time drunk. Sometimes way too. Certainly to appreciate some of it’s more subtle charms.
Like with a few women too, I guess. I wish I was more present. But you can’t be present when you’re deeply involved in shooting holes through furniture. And trading karate chops with a buddy whose round house kick sends you crashing into a fish aquarium. So yeah, I chose my career over having any stable romantic relationships. Didn’t have the capital to invest enough of the emotional currency required to fund one.
What can I say? I was a driven and ambitious young man.
I wanted to run amok. As amok as amokably possible. I needed a place to wait out my exile from the human race. A desert inhabited by aliens seemed like good place. To set up my own Area 51. Run my own test flights. A little elbow room to get my crazy dance on.
Under the moon. While the hounds howled. And a fire illuminated the madness in my eyes. Grind the edge, until I drop off the rail, and plunge into The Abyss. Then see what’s left after everything is destroyed.
Alright. Did that. Check mark that box. What’s next? Probably rehab. And a slow descent to Earth’s orbit.
Very slow. No rush there.
But I had to leave. Hated to. But had to.
I thought I could wash my sins away in the Pacific Ocean. But the waters were already saturated. And working at a strip club wasn’t exactly dry-cleaning my soul. Should’ve gotten rid of all the guns, too. I guess I had one more death left in me.
So I tried a different way of living. One so jack bland, only the most desperate would even attempt to embrace it. But it was all I had left. And it turned out to be a lot better than I thought. As my friend Mad Dog would say, “Ain’t that a kick for sore balls!”
And that’s what sometimes hurts about going home. The ball-kicking realization of how much I missed out on. And now miss. Being there and wishing I could have done it all sober. Seen it all through clearer eyeballs. But then we’d have nothing to laugh about, would we? No mischievous hi-jinx to recall. And if this blogula even existed, it would be insufferably boring. Recipes for good mulch. Illustrated core and balance exercises.
Pictures of people standing around in nature.
I shudder to think.
You should too. You see, I did it all for you, dear reader. And it’s okay. You guys are worth it.
Anyway, it will be good to see my sister and Keller. Good to see Marko. And whoever else I’m supposed to see. Sunday afternoon I’ll be making speed-amends at a table at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Come by if you feel I owe you one. I’ll try to guess what it’s about. If I can’t remember, you can remind me, while I gnash my teeth with regret, and embarrass you with an overly dramatic public display of contrition. And anything else to make things right. Between us.
Buy you a beer? You name it. Even an import.
Because I want things to be good. Between me and you. And between me and New Mexico. I want it to be a good homecoming. I want to be able to go home. Just to see if all those fuckers were wrong.
I’ll keep you posted.