The bed in the hotel came adorned with two pillows, a firm one and a soft one, tucked between flat sheets. "If she was here," I thought, "I wonder which pillow she'd want."
And the warmest I've been all day is realizing that I already know.
This is the second time I've been stranded in Cuba, NM. The first time was Christmas Eve of 2011, heading home after having lived a month in Albuquerque. I didn't know anyone, I had moved out to make a fresh start, and the only sense of continuity I had was provided by my car, which literally began to seep smoke from the steering column. Hitch and I spent the evening in the Frontier Motel, watching Braveheart on cable and wondering if we'd ever make it out of this world alive.
Tonight was different. I was riding my motorcycle back to Utah from Corrales, and I hit an unsuspecting cold front that turned my fingertips black and my language blue. Even under leather gloves and within wool lining, my digits began to approach necrotic, so I stopped here, only an hour-and-a-half outside of Albuquerque, and I'm so, so, so tired.
And this is it for me and New Mexico. Picking up Queen Gorgo was the last remaining physical task to be performed in the Land of Enchantment, and it's over—well, it'll be over tomorrow once I cross state lines, but the point remains: it's over. Katie called to check on me, and she asked me how I felt about my year here. I told her that I think it left me no better off, but no worse off: whatever it may have taken from me, it replaced in identical quantities.
But now I'm looking at the four walls of mother-of-toilet-seat wood paneling in this $35/night motel, and I'm reminded of the differences between then, my first trip from New Mexico, and now, my last trip leaving there.
Then, I was fighting for air in the undertow of A Fresh Start that never quite found purchase. But now, I'm just trying to make it home to you.
Ties are cut here. I have friends, of course, and was able to see a few of them today. I'll surely be back here someday—might take you with me, actually, as the sun setting against the Sandias looks like it's been watercolored—but for now, things need attending to, and I'm no longer a house divided.
This is all bullshit, obviously. These introspective, kitchen-sink blatherings that always manage to find me in romantically cheap motel rooms isn't really worth much, and that's not self-deprecation, it's just journalism. But what does matter is that I'm coming home tomorrow, and it'd take herds of wild horses and moved mountains to keep me from crossing those state lines.
I've spend so much time going from things. But now, when I think about being with you, waking up with our limbs intertwined like alternating red and white stripes on a candy cane:
and I'm grateful that I get to go to something.
So brace yourself:
I'm bringing you all of the snuggles.