Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Moving On

In the rapidly fading light, I head north, following the Rio Chama flowing yellow with Cottonwoods. The moon is up, a slim crescent flanked by two stars. I keep a close eye out for elk, who move through this area in great numbers. Near the Colorado border stands a low mountain, looking grassy and beautiful. I'd hoped to get here before dark in order to ogle its shape, which had so impressed me last year. I honk my horn as I leave New Mexico, most likely the next time I go back it'll be to live there. It's full dark now, so I grab a bed near the terminus for the Toltec Railroad. The motel owner asks me if I'm in town for the hunt. Next door is a combination Bar and Diner, where I sit and order. The other customers all appear to be hunters, wearing clothes of camouflage or bright orange. A local politician moves amidst the tables, but doesn't approach mine. Somewhat self-consciously, I pull out a book to read. My food arrives, and after a few bites, I begin to gag and hiccup. This happens to me about once or twice a year, if I eat too fast. By getting up and walking around, it usually goes away quickly. I walk to the toilet, and upon a large hiccup, my mouth fills with foam, which I spit into the toilet. I begin to feel better and return to my table. But it happens again, and then again. I apologize to the server, pay my check and go back to my room. The next hour is a comic scene of me sitting on the edge of the tub, reading my book, and spitting foam into the toilet. Finally, I vomit the entire contents of my stomach, tasting again the pesto I had at lunch. My body had really wanted to reject something. Previously, I'd had bizarre hallucinations or intense emotional reactions while doing intensive yogic breathing sessions, especially those related to my throat. The same may have happened here, after all the weekend's pranayama. Or maybe it was being surrounded by the hunters, taking sport in taking life. Who knows? I slept well and quickly, my body exhausted after all the spasms.

The next morning I woke early and continued on through the San Luis Valley. I was surprised to see the Rio Grande running up here. If I grabbed an inner-tube and got on the water, after a few really cold days, I'd pass near my mom's house. High snow coated peaks rose to my right, and eventually the road ran right into them. Clouds sit on these peaks like a cap. I pass old schools and crumbling homesteads. The newer ones surprise me in how remote they are. With such gorgeous views from the picture windows, who needs TV? I'm driving along at 8000 feet, with 14ers right over...there. But from this altitude they look climbable in an hour or so. Up around 10000 feet, patches of snow begin to appear, hiding themselves in the shadows of tall pines. Through the mountain communities now, along a stream running fast and cold. Cord wood is stacked in front of many homes; winter must be coming soon.

I'm in Boulder by lunchtime. My brother is working, so I walk up to the Hill, grab a sandwich at Half Fast, a coffee at Buchanans. The sky over the Flatirons is starting to striate, but much of the street traffic is wearing t-shirts or shorts. I grow tired quickly of watching the Greek posturing here, so I head over to campus and grab a spot of grass. I try to make headway with my book, but I'm too enthralled by the trees, who have already removed their tops, but have modestly retained their flowing yellow skirts.

The next day, election day, I chose to ride a bike along the foothills, dropping down onto quiet streets strewn with leaves. Autumn, which hasn't yet gotten to New Mexico yet, has nearly finished here. The look of everything is pastoral, warm and homey. I wind up on Pearl Street, where I walk and eat and read. Kurt will finish work soon, and we'll get to the business of watching the returns come in...


On the turntable: Amos Lee

On the nighttable: Dieter Dengler, "Escape from Laos"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The gag and the hiccup didn't sound very good. Did you ever get that checked-up?