(First things first, I know it’s a mess … I’ve only been here 12 hours people. And besides, I’m a mess. I’ll unpack tonight, promise.)
I arrived at the casita long after dark, which made finding it a challenge. The addresses on this particular Santa Fe hill go like this: 724, 726, 728, and then all of the sudden, 806. Which is me. I had to do a few obnoxious but unavoidable headlights-in-your-windows turnarounds before I found the correct address. After that, I had to find the actual casita on the grounds, which, in the daylight, is embarrassingly obvious. But in the infinite, thick (wonderful) Sante Fe darkness, I was a bit turned around. I did stumble into it finally, dumped my belongings, and took my first long, glorious bath. Great bathtubs, like great coffee, can inspire deep, passionate love in me. I’m already there with this bathtub, which is the perfect size and has only one tiny problem. The drain sticks. It’s one of those push-and-turn sorts of situations, only when you push nothing happens, and you then must pry it up with your fingernails. Oh, and when I got up this morning, there were TWO dead spiders in the bathtub. That’s also a problem. But not the bathtub’s fault.
This morning, however, despite last night’s lovely bath, I woke with this horrible anxiety. About running in this new hilly place. About knowing not a single human being here in this desert. About what I might do to remedy that situation. It’s strange, because when I’m traveling, truly on-the-road tourist-style, I never worry about whether I know anyone. But all of the sudden, because I’m in Santa Fe for a month, I feel like I have to have a LIFE here. Friends. Things to do. People who care whether I get hit by a car when I’m running.
I want to be the brave traveler and act like all of this is easy, but I’m a writer, not an actor. Ask my high school theater director; she’ll tell you. I was lonely and worried, and I wasn’t sure what to do. Take a dance class? A yoga class? A cooking class? (I might really do that last one.) I could find a wine club or a book club. I could do some volunteer work. But I have no idea even where the grocery store is, let alone any where any of these clubs or lessons might be located, and this ridiculous pressure to have established a Santa Fe existence RIGHT AWAY was driving me nuts.
I had no idea where to start. I wanted to stay in bed. That was my first instinct. But then I followed the instinct that came right on its heels: I went for my run. I went for coffee. I sat on the patio in the still-warm New Mexico sun and read the local paper (and found a club of pilots who meet at the local airport to drink coffee and tell stories of flight … which I really might go to. I mean, come on.)
The paper mostly just gave me way too many options, none of which sounded right, and I was starting to feel panicky when I looked across the street and saw the Running Hub. I always Google the local running store in a new place, so I knew what the Running Hub was. I decided to check it out. At the very least, they’d have trail maps.
It’s a longer story, and more important to me than really anyone else, so I’ll summarize. The people at the running store were wonderful, and I’m terrified, but I’m going to go on their group run tomorrow night. They do about an hour every Thursday evening, then go for beer. I’ll have to do a little pre-run to make my day’s workout time, and I’m truly wretechdly intimidated by the idea of running with other people. But I’m going to do it, dammit. I’ll let you know how it goes.