So. As a well-traveled man of reasonable reasoning, I have long known there must exist a yang for the incredible enchantments that are New Mexico’s yin. There is no “perfect” anyfuckingthing, and each of the Universe’s ups has a down. My New Mexican yang was discovered Wednesday morning.
I was standing rooftop on a two-story house in Eldorado, New Mexico. Not an actual Zip Code, and not an actual town, Eldorado is a sprawling sketchbook of high desert beauty that is dotted with homes built in a somewhat thoughtful coexistence with Mother Nature’s beauty. The main roads meander for miles, homes are situated on quite large lots, and un-buildable common areas occupy large swatches many times more land area than does the infrastructure and habitats.
Whenever I reach a perch here to New Mexico, I stop and take a moment to look around. With over seventy different, specifically-named mountain ranges, our state has more varying vistas than the cut glass chards in a kaleidoscope—a complex word that I just spelled correctly with my first effort. When I wrote my stupid fucking book, I had trouble rememberating the word, much less its spelling.
Which reminds me. I’ve had but one applicant for my open position for an Editing Assistant. And that one applicant—the lovely and charming former editor, Cynthianne from the ABQ—has agreed to take the position just so long as she isn’t required to perform her job. To misquote myself when I posted the ad for this new position, basically what I said was, “I’m looking for a nice lady to rub my feet while I self-edit this shit before publication.”
What with the ADHD and ADD and all, my original drafts are daffy documents full of drivel. And misspellings and tense changes and wait. See right there? See where I should have said, “Changes of tense?” That sort of shitty grammatical crap litters my verbal landscape like so much fresh dog shit on the little rug everyone has beside their bed. You know, that little rug set perfectly so you can place your tootsies in comfort as you sit on the side of the bed—rubbing your eyes upon first awakenment from deep slumber—to contemplate your first conscious acts of a new day.
Fucking dogs. They wanted to take a long walk yesterday and I didn’t. They felt like cruising the walking trail that runs alongside the Rail Runner tracks, and me… I felt like I was getting water-boarded by my ownself.
“Quit sniffling like a baby, shithead, and take us for a walk,” The Squirt told me after several hours of bargaining. She and the goat dog had offered me everything from their promises to behave to threats of making my life miserable in efforts to barter a walk.
“I’d love to, little Missy, but I just can’t risk going outside right now,” I told her. “And that’s that.”
“Alright, fuckhead, you’ve been warned. On a brighter note, is it still whole fish Friday?”
Once a week I buy a whole fish from Whole Foods, cook it in an interesting way, and then place the head, carcass and whatever else remains after the dogs and I dine, out back for the fucking cat. Honor—said fucking cat—returns from wherever it is she habitates on those days not whole fish Fridays to visit and dine with the family. She purrs and rubs Spring sheddings from her long coat all over the fucking place, pukes fur balls of bones and feathers woven with the hair she’s swallowed hair into little sausage links, eats her fill from the fish offering, and then disappears.
Early this morning, I awoke with a head full of congestion and reached for a handful of Kleenex with which to blow my nose. I got my head cleared just enough to take an actual full breath through my nostrils, and took said full breath.
“Holy shit! It smells like rotten fish in here.” The stench of old fish and camel ass was strong enough to burn my half-cleared nostrils.
I turned and put my feet on that small, aforementioned carpet carefully-placed by most of us at our bedside, and squished both feet into piles of dog crap.
OK, stop. My ADHD has dislodged the train and headed us off into the wilderness. What I was saying is that I was on this roof out to Eldorado Wednesday morning. It was cool, crisp and windless as I surveyed the views of the Sange de Christo mountains and the golden hues of the rolling landscape between them and my house roof perch.
“The golden hues are beautiful, Jerry,” I told the homeowner upon whose roof I perched.
“I call it the Beauty and the Beast, Mooner. That gold you see is the Spring pollination of the Mountain Juniper. Some people are allergic to it,” Jerry told me.
We surveyed his roof for a good half-hour and stopped to look at the mountains a last time before taking the ladder down. “Look over there, Mooner. See where the wind is coming over the mountains and stirring the juniper trees?”
It took me a couple seconds to see what he saw. When I caught the sight, I could see the wind starting and puffs of golden smoke bursting from the trees. As the wind thickened and moved downhill towards us, the air quickly filled as if by a dust storm. It was actually quite interesting to see the sky grow golden as the wind pushed—harder now—towards us. The first wind hit my face as I held the ladder for Jerry, and by the time I said “Goodbye” and got to my truck, its white finish was already covered with gold dust.
It wasn’t until ten minutes later as I reentered the Santa Fe City limits that I first sneezed. Ten minutes after that that my eyes itched enough to want them scratched out. And within an hour of first exposure to juniper pollen, I became a test dummy for self water-boarding.
“We’re going to rename you Snot Bucket, asshole,” were Squirt’s words to me last night. “You’re hacking and spitting and blowing constantly.”
Anyway, I’m miserable in a major way and maybe the pollen will go away soon. Which brings me to this instant—the one wherein I’m first drafting today’s missive. I just flipped the page of my wall calendar to take a peek at April, and was greeted by a photo of one of Salvador Dali’s’ melting, exploding clocks. It’s a photo of the same Dali’ exploding clock I have tattooed on my left arm. The calendar has a different Dali’ painting on each month, and this painting was inked on my arm when I first learned that my father was dying from cancer.
Now, I can’t tell if the tears spilling from my eyes and the snot bubbles billowing from my nose are from the allergy to juniper pollen or my allergies to the loss of Daddy. But as my Gram always says, “Oh, who gives a shit, Mooner. Yer a fuckin’ mess. Now go put a bag on yer head an’ walk them two dogs a yers. Maybe you’ll run inta that alligater crawfish lady an’ git ya some poontanger.”
Huh? Alligator crawfish lady? “Oh, you mean Allie McGraw, don’t you, Gram?
“Lik’ I told ya, Mooner, I don’t really give a shit who ya choose so long as ya git yersef laid.”
After all these years my father’s death still leaves a huge hole in me. I loved him when he was here and realize that I took him for granted. The tattoo was a manifestation of my commitment to not fall victim to the slippery explosions of Time’s realities melting away. I think S. Dali’ was fantastically brilliant, and his insights into Time sublime. Take a minute to find some of his clock paintings and linger with them… See if you agree.
Me, I’m putting a wet gunny sack over my head and taking a walk with the dogs. Maybe Allie McGraw will be out with her puppy charge, and maybe the wet gunny sack fabric can filter enough pollen to prevent my death.