Apocalypse When?

8 Jul

I think: I’ve stumbled upon a movie set. Carlsbad, New Mexico. Somewhere at a gas station, a tumbleweed rolls against the wind. It’s not right, this shrub of Salsola, defying gravity. I go inside and buy a fake Kachina doll, an arrowhead, and a postcard. Wish you were. I mail it to myself at an old, defunct address in Vienna.
“Where’s a good place to eat?”
“Good?”
“Good and cheap.”
The old, brown-skinned woman behind the counter doesn’t say anything. She just smokes and smokes. I think: I just imagined this brief conversation. The dust storm outside makes me question reason and existence. Wish you were. The dust storm outside makes me question the accuracy of maps and star charts.
“Only the Hopi tribe can carve out Kachinas. When you see Navajo Kachinas or Mexican Kachinas, those are imitations of the real Hopi Kachinas, just as much so as Kachinas made by white people or imported from Korea are.”
“Are you a Hopi?”
“I’m Navajo.”
“So then.”
“But I just sell them in this store, the Kachinas.”
“Then they are real?”
The dust storm outside makes me question the relevance of the road in January.
“Where are you going?”
“West.”
“Chasing the sun, like all men?”
“Something like that.”
“Cottonwood root.”
“What?”
“Cottonwood root. It’s what the Kachinas are made of.”
“Ah.”
I think: I just imagined this brief conversation from behind the wheel of my car. Inside, the Indian woman tilts her head back and swallows from a leather flask.
I think: chasing the sun is a harsh proposition. Even for men with big dreams. Look at Icarus.

“This is a good, cheap place.”
“Is it?”
“In the middle of Polo country, no less. Can you believe it?”
“Where was this joint a year ago when I was looking for two eggs sunnyside up and a slab of ham with toast in the Chihuahuan desert?”
He draws in a breath. Takes another drag and blows smoke rings into his coffee. The walls around us pop from the humidity and time.

Wish you were…

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5 Responses to “Apocalypse When?”

  1. dr. zombieswan 08/07/2007 at 3:16 PM #

    Good one. :) Apocalypse is all the rage nowadays.

  2. slyboots2 08/07/2007 at 3:48 PM #

    Got that Floyd riff in my head now. Best time I ever heard that song- 1986, Fisherman’s Wharf, SF- guy had an acoustic electric plugged into a mini-battery-powered amp, and was playing it- late evening- dark skies with the tendrils of fog rolling in- golden glow of the street lights…

  3. Rachel 09/07/2007 at 5:24 PM #

    Slyboots, I would love to have been in that scene you just painted in the comments.

    lx, yours too if it didn’t feel so sinister. I’m always amazed at how you come up with these pieces. Safe travels.

  4. Lx 09/07/2007 at 5:29 PM #

    rachel, thanks. had a fun time friday night in your city. strange, this one doesn’t give me the heebee-geebees (sp?) for some reason.

    i like sly’s story too.

    and doctor, the apocalypse has always been the rage, no? book of revelations anyone?

  5. Rachel 09/07/2007 at 8:02 PM #

    I did too sunshine. You wrote it so I will take your word for it. I wonder what my interpretation says about me? Either way it was a pleasure to read.

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