Everything is better once the expanse of Texas is behind you. It's not a bad expense, but 800 miles of mile markers kill the pace of progress, no matter your rate of travel. 6 miles from New Mexico, and I feel carefree, momentarily aimless and that's only possible when you feel that doom and grief are neither close behind nor near ahead. In that fleeting state my mind is displaceable. I become an existential chameleon and I slip into the lives of others. As I walked to the dumpster in the RV park I wondered how many people call these parks home, casualties of the real estate fiasco and ensuing depression. I watched a man leave the park in a large pick up truck, I imagined to work. I imagined that truck and his gooseneck trailer were all that remained of his attempt at an American dream. I imagined the relative freedom of having so little, of being rootless... I've been there and it can be wonderful… Literally, full of wonder... I imagined the limited space and limited capacity to carry meaningless things, purposeless things and I recall the freedom downsizing. The last time I traveled this stretch of highway all of my belongings fit into a 1973 VW Thing. And I imagined the man's expression, veiled behind the windshield glare, and the thoughts that informed it, and there the hue of my scales became his. How must he feel with only a failed attempt at an American dream behind him and an ever narrowing field of choices ahead. Nothing could more strongly underscore the smallness of everything: his trailer, the RV park, and the chances that these next few years would be the best ever.
We shared a wave and he drove away and I ambled off into the rest of my day.