There's this deli in Brooklyn that sells cheese I can't get in New Mexico.
The guy who takes phone orders has an accent that probably sounds
neutral where he is, but pretty tough to me. So it surprised me when he
asked a seemingly friendly question about the weather out here.
I imagined him stuck in the icy slush bucket that is a New York winter,
and so fueled his escapist fantasy with a detailed report on
Albuquerque's mild climes.
"Great day for a hike," I told him. "Might get a slight dusting over 8000
feet, but it's fine in the valley." I went on like that until finally he said he
didn't need the whole forecast, just the high so he'd know if the cheese
would melt in a mail truck.
"Oh," I replied. "Um, around 55, I guess."
Just before I hung up, he muttered something about a fucking moron.
Man, I swear they have the best cheese there.
º º º
by Stephen Ausherman
NM2NY continued in Yankee Pot Roast...
In New Mexico the moon glistens as though cut from a frozen
grapefruit. It can be a wedge on the hard lip of the canyon or a
rind high above the mesa, but it is always sharp and crisp as the
breath of God.
Here in New York it is murky, as though thawing and leaching
into the milky sky. Everything glows in a gauzy haze. Here the air
is so damp it bends the light and I long for gills to breathe.
New Yorkers amaze me because they can live underwater.
I want to take them home with me, just a few, and keep them in
my aquarium, but I'm afraid the ones I’d pick would never get
along in the same tank. And they would most certainly destroy
my gentle, crystal-wearing specimens from Santa Fe.
In On the Road, Kerouac wrote: "We were a band of Arabs
coming to blow up New York." In the same book, he wrote:
"In inky darkness we crossed New Mexico." I think if he'd seen
Albuquerque by daylight, he would've wanted to blow that up,
too. Maybe he didn't realize the Manhattan Project was in New
Mexico, not New York (as the name would imply), and that with
every bomb factory it spawned, we could detonate in a far more
spectacular fashion than the Big Apple.