Tucumcari, New Mexico – 1990 (a snapshot)

27 May

“Judas Christ, this all looks like the Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons,” Valeriu said.
We had been through the worst storm of our lives. The crosswinds shook us all the way from Amarillo into Tucumcari. The hail was, at times, baseball sized. Later, in the motel, we heard the gusts hit up to 85. We ate pasta straight out of cans and flipped through the local channels. We smoked in the bathroom with the fan on. In the tub. Later.
“There’s nothing here.”
“People live here.”
“Where? In the ground?”
I put gas in the Ghia and Valeriu lit up right at the pump.
“You’re gonna kill us.”
“We should maybe send a postcard,” he said.
“You’re right…I feel like we’re in a John Ford movie.”
“Missing you, wish you were here…or…wish you were missing…”
“Tumbleweeds would make it perfect.”
Valeriu laughed. And spat into the dust. His coagulated saliva made a little wet crater. He kicked up brown earth and covered it up in a weird gesture of respect.
I bought a handful of arrowheads and two Kachina dolls from an Indian stand next to the gas pumps. The man selling was very old and had a dusty cowboy hat. I hated cowboy hats. I hated cowboys.
“Fuckin Indians,” Valeriu said, “they despise us.”
“They’re right.”
“Why? We’re not even from this country.”
“That’s why.”

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4 Responses to “Tucumcari, New Mexico – 1990 (a snapshot)”

  1. Ava Joe 27/05/2010 at 11:16 AM #

    Tucumcari is a real town? I thought Little Feat made it up. By the way, “Judas Christ,” good one. Very nice piece, but there’s nothing wrong with cowboys really.

  2. jkdavies 27/05/2010 at 11:56 AM #

    I only heard of the town in spaghetti westerns, “This train will stop at Tucumcari” was going through my head evoking dust…

  3. ~otto~ 27/05/2010 at 9:15 PM #

    Dude, I fucking despise us too and I’m not even an Indian. Whoop! Whoop!

  4. (S)wine 28/05/2010 at 8:14 AM #

    self-loathing is back in stylee

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