On a Good Friday I drove to Albuquerque. Thousands of the faithful walked north along Interstate 25. They sought the healing miracles of the sacred sands within the Santuario de Chimayo in the village of Chimayo, nestled in a valley, lined in cottonwoods and pastures within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains 24 miles (38.4 km) north of Santa Fe. From Albuquerque, the distance nears 80 miles, but the distance is unimportant to those who make this annual trek.
Author’s Note: I changed his name to Philiberto for this story from a work in progress with the working title, “New Mexico […]
Ray was fun and easy to know. Regardless, his gayness in rural New Mexico wasn’t always well received. Ray was young and out. If you didn’t like his sexual proclivity, that was your problem. Not his. “I’m like a dragon,” he said. “Full of fire and not ashamed.”
The behavior of some humans definitely rankled my patience. I wish it would’ve rained more. The garden was less than mediocre. And every holiday and celebration lacked the sparkle of champagne.
A row of popular blow mold Christmas characters, cleverly displayed at eye level, caught Charlie’s attention. “Look, Santa lights up!” Charlie exclaimed as he caressed a 13” fat Santa with his black bag of goodie at his side.
You see, I’m a purebred seal point Siamese. Most of my story has been lost because I don’t speak Hooman, just Siamese. The mysteries of my early years were partially unraveled by yesterday’s x-rays of my mouth. My hooman asked the veterinarian’s assistant, “With that many fractured teeth, do you suppose Chai might have been kicked by somebody?” She asked that because I freak out and hide when my man hooman wears work boots. The nice assistant said, “Yes, that’s possible.”
I knew little to nothing about shamanism. Actually, I held onto my Navajo friend’s perspective: what’s with the white people trying to be like the indigenous people? Come to find out, indigenous white folk in ancient Europe had their shamans. Really, it’s not unlike ritual prayer of today.
Honestly, I do not like wearing a mask. It’s not comfortable, I feel like others don’t know if I’m smiling when I speak or not. I can’t see the mouth expressions of others wearing a mask. And it just plain muffles me.
My country has truly let me down in its response to this pandemic. At this moment I see the United State of America dead in the water. The engines that keep it running are drained to the point where the status quo is something we’ll remember, not relive.
So how is it that a wily novel coronavirus plays havoc with modern standards of living, further pushes impoverished people into a hell hole of hunger, sickness and premature death, all while showing us what it is like to see mountains without a cloud of particulate pollutants?