Some part of me must have truly expected to die during my long run yesterday because afterward, I had absolutely no clue what to do with myself.
I had parked in the lot of this grocery store across the street from where I pick up the Rail Trail. I can’t begin to describe my relief as I ran up to my car. I was so ready for it to be over. So ready I was almost tearing up. And then it was. Over. Completely over. And I felt totally lost. I stood by my car for five minutes staring at the mountains. I couldn’t move. Finally I decided to blame it on low blood sugar, so I went into the grocery store to buy a Vitamin Water. And a few heavily discounted post-Halloween Reese’s peanut butter cups. I have an illness. I do realize this.
After a shower I felt more like actual blood was pumping through my system again, and yet I still had no idea what to do. It was Sunday, and I felt like I shouldn’t waste a day off. I could hang out in Santa Fe any old weekday. I decided to drive the high road to Taos.
Now this, like many of my spontaneous ideas, was not the most carefully planned plan, and I got to Taos approximately 49 minutes before I would have to turn around and drive back to Santa to see a friend-of-a-friend’s show. But even an abbreviated Taos did not disappoint. First of all, I spent a good portion of my run that morning thinking about trees, big ones, how I missed them and how Santa really doesn’t have many. But Taos … they’ve got some beautiful trees. Miraculous oaks that are just now reaching their full autumn bloom.
I stopped into a store called Horse Feathers, a sort of cowboy antique store. What made me go inside was the name, which is the same as one of my favorite bands. I understand that this connection isn’t relevant. But it was a sign. Because INSIDE I met Lindsey Enderby, who easily wins the title for kindest, warmest person in all of New Mexico. Or at least in all of MY New Mexico so far.
We talked for a long time. He told me about the number of visits Annie Proulx has made to his store (me: captivated). And then he gave me some advice about being the new girl in town. He said (in summary), You’ve got to get out there. Commit to doing four social events a week. Also, go to book stores. They’re always the best places, and you’ll meet a better quality of person in a book store than you will in a bar. It was all I could do not to beg the man for a hug.
While I was talking to Lindsey, a man stopped in who, I gathered, was putting the final touches on a gallery nearby. Lindsey offered to drop in, bring his ladders and tools and help out. Again I wanted to hug him. On my way down the block I passed the gallery and the man, Lenny, waved and invited me in.
Let me just say at this point that if I ever DO have any money, I won’t have it for long, and Lenny Foster’s photography is the perfect example of why. I immediately had to have a notecard print (all I could afford, obviously) of his photo titled “Peace Like a River.” I’ve maybe mentioned how the book by the same name is the Best Book Ever Written. But then I made my way to the back gallery, to his “Healing Hands” collection, and I got that thing where I can barely breathe because I’m so busy trying not to cry. I don’t know why I’m trying not to cry in this scenario. Lenny seemed like the type of man who’d take a strange girl crying in his gallery very well. But I didn’t cry. Much. And I didn’t make Lenny hug me either. I think I managed not to frighten either of these nice men too badly. You’d maybe have to ask them.
The drive back to Santa Fe included the most beautiful sunset and tiny, wee sliver of moon I’ve ever seen, and then I spent the evening listening to some equally beautiful music. The artist, Edie Carey, is a friend of the Incomparable Evan, and she was kind enough even to go to dinner with me after. We went to Cowgirl. The conversation was just one of those magical things that feels like you picked up in the middle of something very long and familiar. The food was good. And perhaps most importantly, we had flan and a ridiculous ice cream baked potato for dessert. Because I love you, I took a picture.