Tuesday, January 26, 2016

More Than One Street

Sometimes more than one street has the same name. Sometimes in the same city. Sometimes that city is Albuquerque and you end up where you were trying to go after a long and pointless detour, only to find a cheap motel parking lot surrounded by bars, looking back out onto the freeway you just escaped. Inside there is a bar.

“I'll have a beer.”

“We're closing.” She's wiping down the counter while 50-something ex-frat boys eat chicken wings beneath TVs broadcasting some sporting event. It's all very manly.

Everyone is going to the airport tomorrow morning, flying off to some other place. The bar closes, you're stuck behind bars.

You didn't plan for it to be this way. Nobody would. But tomorrow you'll be in Oklahoma, where you swear things will be better or at least farther east

The streets are empty. Not even a lady of the night to come spend it with you.

Last time you were here it stormed. Black clouds and lightning streaked across the desert, like some unseen entity pronouncing judgment on parched land: YOU WILL HAVE WATER, DAMMIT!

Well, okay. Water is good.

Now there is only dust and a saggy mattress. A hair dryer, some extension cords. Spare pillow and blankets. Popcorn ceiling, misplaced dreams.

You could tie sheets together and climb out the window, but then you'd be back in the parking lot, behind those bars.

You could stare at the ceiling or the TV. Or there's probably a bible in the drawer. Yep, there is. You could read that. You wanted a storm? Try Revelations.

You'll be up in five hours anyway, back on the road, towns bouncing past like so many tumbleweeds. You'll be in Oklahoma before you know it.

Things will be better. Or at least farther east.

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