Came down in oh-six to Las Cruces, City of the Crosses in the Land of Enchantment, left New England behind forever. Drivers don’t flip you the bird down here if you cut them off. A traffic jam is six cars at a stoplight. Waiters speak English to customers, Spanish to each other. Learned about ocotillos, chollas, roadrunners, arroyos. Spring winds whip sand into skin-stinging “enchantment,” a local quip. Summer sun, triple digits, head for the mountains. Eight years, no rattlesnake sightings, but one day on El Paseo Boulevard a camel rode by in a pickup truck. In-laws don’t visit, too far, thank God. When you're out of town, you’re out of town. Sixty miles west, another town if you care to look. Forty miles east, El Paso and Juarez. Quiet here, quiet and dry. Uncommon rains fall in gray sheets slanting off billowing cumulus clouds over the Robledo Mountains, and the west winds blow the tangy scent of wet creosote into the city.
|When you're out of town, you're out of town.|