Monday, December 10, 2012

it's the kind of place that takes a liking to extremes, i've come to think, though i have no direct proof except my own feeling. it's a wide flat plain with no natural trees except the scrubby tough old oaks that drop crackly little acorn-dice, and we people put them here in town, otherwise we'd have nothing but the wiyde sky and maybe some grasses and some buffalo. there is one hiding place in the area, so-called yellowhouse canyon, though i haven't seen it, and apparently they made some other lakes and canyons too that weren't here originally, but do kind of break up the scenery.

so everybody drives these huge trucks, unless you're poor in which case you drive a small truck, maybe. most of these trucks have four-wheel drive which is an enormous waste of power, since it's only needed one day of the year. but this was the day. it was icy this morning, and i walked to school, and even then had to balance on ice where it was real slippery and an old guy like me could take a spill. i made it fine though and had a good walk, it was invigorating. took another one tonight; i'm into a few miles every night if i can and slowly get in slightly better shape though i don't lose any weight in the process. so these trucks have their purpose in life, not so much avoiding the ditch as pulling people out who were unable to, or whatever. generally i don't see much in the back of these trucks, it's not like they're hauling stuff around. i'm sure they honestly believe they need the four-wheel drive though. they have big puddles on the streetcorners every time it rains. you might as well be in the jungle.

you don't see many blue vans like ours, but today i saw a blue van, more or less like ours. i was overjoyed. i pointed it out and nobody seemed to share my enthusiasm. it's like seeing an iowa license plate. most people say, so what, or something to that effect. can't blame 'em, i'm sure there's better stuff to see, somewhere. it so happens, i haven't seen it.

such a flat place, with power lines all over the place, and lots of wide open sky, and a big hard wind every once in a while that reminds you: you're on the plains, 3000 feet up; it's flat and the world's spinning fast, and the wind cuts you down and comes down off the rockies every once in a while. i kind of liked it actually, like maybe part of me feels like i'm back on the plains of western iowa or maybe nebraska where my ancestors settled. for a while, 'til the civil war and its rustlers ran 'em out & back to illinois. hope that doesn't happen to us here. we're just getting used to the place.

texas has about twenty, twenty five million, but they expect it to be forty million in the next twnety five years. almost double. and they admit, they don't have the water. they have some vagues sense of impending crisis, doom, might take a few bucks to fix it, but they aren't turning anyone back yet. they didn't turn us back, much to our surprise. i just about wear obama on my face, and my son went to school in an illinois sweater today. people are still polite. especially at the university, they seem to be genuinely hospitable to out-of-towners like myself. i haven't got tired of it yet.

i imagine, if you were a cowpoke, and you rode your horse all day in this cold windy biting kind of weather, if you didn't find that canyon at night you'd be a bit cold, or you'd bear down to see if you could find yourself a warm place to bed up. seems to me the horses would be especially ornery, since there's nothing but hard red clay with stickers on it that stick right up through your shoes and into your feet. the wide sky is real nice and the sun melts the ice, but at night it gets real cold again, and then sure enough i'm sure summer's right around the corner. and when that happens it's that big old sun beating down, day in and day out, daring you to dig a tunnel to find a place to keep your car from burning up. and out of this, everyone's so polite? it's amazing really. I figure they'd purt near kill you just for showing up, at a time like this. but they didn't. chao


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