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Close To The Skin

Santa Fe: They said that my hair blends with the environment; the red adobe, amber church bells, and complex curling clouds. I said, ‘well then I’ll go home and get a U-Haul.’ There are worse things in life than belonging to a place where the winds have the power to lift you from the sidewalk and the Margaritas’ are so good you wished you were an alcoholic.

As I stood waiting for Anne Russelle to pick me up at Zele’s cafe, the sky was making all kinds of belching and bumbling sounds, like it had something large and important to let go of. No matter the little people underneath. I sipped my double latte; my welcome to Santa Fe ‘on the house’ coffee from the cute, loud, wild and flirty cafe guy. He wanted to return to PDX, he liked the music scene here better. But I could hear this music, it sank into my spine; it tickled my teeth.

I was so excited to see Anne after many years, but this scene was so good I had hoped she got chatty with someone in whole foods to slow her down. It turns out the butcher puts on a good show for her. He likes her. I think he may like her a lot. But she’s a married woman. That’s why it’s good to have butchers. They’re safe. They stay behind the glass, they handle meat while flirting with married women. This should be a social requirement.

Um, I diverge. I was about to tell you about the seductive powers of the desert not butchers.

As Anne and I drove I was struck by how the sun seems to hit the pinions and sage from all sides. How shade is subtle and almost un-find-able. The moon and the earth seem close, even in the day; the sun, delicate and intense. I like the sting on my skin.

Close to the skin is how NM feels. Thunder storms that crackle through your thoughts while the crisp air makes the sound of voices and music easy on the ear. And who needs to read books on the magical realism in the desert, when the stories happen effortlessly in the night and on the stage of peoples dreams.

Water sounded like music there. It had the history of being popular, wanted, fought over like an Italian Courtesan. It’s precious, it even seems to taste better. But I’m sure that’s something about the fear of it getting in a bad mood and leaving altogether.

Dakota doesn’t get all the jack rabbits. How they hit the garden bubbly – the front yard. He thinks that any rabbit with ears straight up is just plain uncool; vulnerabilities of alertness and distrust exposed. Ears that flop about while being scared out one’s wits is Dakota’s version the English upper lip. And the only thing close to his skin these hot days is rabbit fur and he’s just a little grumpy about that!


  • Sandra on May 21, 2006 Reply

    Just thinking of Santa Fe fills me with peace. Thanks for the lovely reminder. I also enjoyed being reminded of the flaming crush I had on the butcher a few years ago. My husband still teases me about it.
    I enjoy your writing!

  • Sage on May 18, 2006 Reply

    Close to the skin. What a beautiful insight into the alignment of your inner and outer landscapes. I look forward to hearing more about how the desert continues to rise to meet you.

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