Wednesday, August 22, 2012

went to denver on a family vacation, one in which my wife had a conference, but boys & i stayed in a fancy hotel downtown. denver has nice buildings like chicago, but an entirely different atmosphere than chicago, much younger and healthier than most places, and beautiful weather the wholetime. at one point i insisted that we go out to the mountains and we did, just past the steep incline, and we ended up in evergreen, in the buffalo bill museum, and at red rocks, a park known for its grateful dead concerts. again, weather was beautiful. kids were worn out and began to fray at the edges. finally we returned to lubbock where all of school starts in days.

close proximity to lots of seemed like every driftless 20-year-old, every mountain man gone bust, every old dude kicked out of california was on denver's downtown streets. they'd put pianos out there, in the mall, on the strip, and i played one, but it didn't have much volume and i didn't do anything about it. i played a long and rambling thing in the key of f but pretty much nobody reacted to it; it was a nice day, people were strolling and sitting, the tune was good enough at least to tolerate.

at the rockies game they only charged us three bucks to get in; i was a senior citizen. i wanted general admission but they gave us the "rock pile" which was way out there and we didn't see it well enough. there were plenty of seats in the general area too. one time we went and sat down there and they threw us out. a bottle of water was like six bucks so i think they got their money, but their finickyness about unwelcome visitors in entirely empty sections, even late in the game, kind of turned me against the team itself. it wasn't like it would have bothered anyone in the section; there wasn't anyone in the section. we went back to the "rock pile" where kids were drinking and people were more or less oblivious to a game they couldn't see anyway. ironically it was a good game, kept going back and forth, the rockies found themselves behind, late in the game, and we left, having been there long enough, and they lost the game. they lost it, basically, because of one home run that barely cleared the fence. they say that in that high mountain air a ball will carry just a foot or two farther, well in that game, it cost the rockies one, because it was the other team that got that hit.

in the car on the way to the airport one son complained about deleting a world, which he did, accidentally, on his phone, as he sat there. i told him i knew the feeling, it was kind of like moving out of a town you'd lived in for a while, but it's not really the same, his was entirely imaginary. in the motel i kept up my recent theme of "reflections" by taking pictures of buildings reflected in other buildings, or, mountains reflected in buildings, or whatever, downtown seemed full of these beautiful rectangular glass mirror-windows that showed basically hundreds of other similar windows, in rectangular patterns, and i'd see the mountains way off on a clear day and pine for them. then, look back at my boys in the hotel swimming pool, learning to stay under water just a little longer, or splashing each other.

going there the plane flew over vegas, and outside of town, where i thought i'd see the grand canyon out the window, instead there were these dry dusty mountains that seemed to have nothing, absolutely nothing, growing anywhere near them. dust would be rising from them as if they created dust and raised it up into the air. in one place a road headed toward the dusty mountain and just stopped at the base of it, as if, here you get out of the truck and walk the rest of the way. one of the mountains had a whole mine dug into it as if it were full of something valuable; who knows? then over the range of mountains, comes vegas, a city of neon signs and glittery images, houses built in the desert with water pumped up from who knows where to water the lawns, roads in grids stretching across the desert. impressive. i couldn't help wondering why they'd send a plane that far west, out of the way; similarly on the way back they sent us to austin out of the way, before lubbock; austin was rainy and green as if it were a lush green forested garden down there. back in lubbock we were surprised how easy it was, how home it was already, how we knew all the roads, and everything was familiar, in a way. you delete one world, but there are others to take its place.

pictures will follow; i'm still a little disorganized on getting things from camera, to computer, online as i can do the first two together, and the last two together, but all three together, rare and difficult. it's coming, bear with me. things will get easier.


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