June 29, 2009

Oh hey, we passed 1000 hits last week! That’s about 30 hits per each of the 30 posts, over the course of about 4 months. I’m pretty happy, personally. Thank you! I mean, yeah, you; if you’re reading this then I’m assuming you contributed at least once today, if not before a few times too. Unless someone on the internet is stealing this paragraph and posting it somewhere else, in which case, uh, wow, I’m flattered? And/or you might try a blog with a little more readership and a little less self-hatin’? (This entire paragraph is going to be really funny someday if the blog hits it big, haha.)

In partybration of this semimomentous occasion, here’s what I think is probably my favorite story I’ve undergone since I started this blog. This one’s a little long, but it’s pretty good, I think! I’m admittedly not really sure how I feel about putting this on the internet—that is, I feel a little weird just talking about these guys on the internet with them not knowing about it, and even weirder for the amount of analysis I give to the situation and them. But, I’d like to remember it and share it with people, so hopefully they’ll understand if they ever happen upon this little corner of the internet themselves. For these reasons, I’ll give them fake names, which is actually just as well since I only got one of their names, anyway. In any case, I really appreciate the conversation, guys.

Well, about halfway through the Santa Fe trip last week, I was walking by myself past a parking lot in a park. In the lot there was an old red truck parked with three guys in it, two in the car’s seats and one guy sitting in the back. The guy in the driver’s seat called over to me. “Hey! Know where we can get wasted around here?” I looked over and told him that I was new in town; only here for a bit while visiting some friends. We talked pleasantries back and forth a bit from the sidewalk to the car for a bit, and eventually he told me that they didn’t bite. I walked over and leaned on the side of the truck.

The guy in the front seat introduced himself as Red. He was pretty well built and fit, with jeans and a red sleeveless sweater, and a black kind-of-a-beret, which he later pointed out meant that he was in a mafia of sorts. (Later, after joking about giving me concrete shoes and throwing me in a lake, [In retrospect, where the heck in New Mexico could they have found a deep enough lake?!] he said he was actually in a “mafia, the black berets. Well, not really a mafia, more of a clique or something, I guess. We don’t do no violent acts or anything, we just hang out and get high and do some business together, really.”) First thing he did was show me a box with some hemp-woven jewelry that his wife made and he was selling (I really should have actually bought one off of him—they were pretty damn nice and only 10$ or so.)

Then he introduced me to the guy in the back, who was sitting on a tire. I didn’t actually get the name of this guy—in fact, the only real signifier I had for him was that he was gay. I learned this during one of Red’s lectures on porn—pretty much any time the concept of women came up (including when he talked about his wife—hell, he’d compare her to it), he would point out a giant bag of porno magazines that he was selling, and would start enthusiastically showing me one of them that somehow related to the current part of the conversation. Eventually, Red stopped in the middle of one such lecture to motion towards the guy in the back and point out rather matter-of-factly, “Oh, he’s a fag. He isn’t interested in this stuff.” Then he kept going. Gotta say, the whole thing was pretty uncomfortable—hell, I mean, after some time I really just wanted to lie and tell the guy I was gay so he’d stop showing me it, haha. Kind of a me-being-too-polite vicious cycle sort of thing, I guess.

I pretty much refuse to refer to this guy as “the gay guy,” so I’m going to pretend his name was Mark. Mark was wonderful—he had a really sincere smile and laugh, and had this great crease in his teeth that bent back right between his yellow buck teeth. And had no shame about it, either, considering how big his smiles were. He was taller and lankier, and wore a sort of green-grey t-shirt, and either sat cross-legged on his tire or leaned over the side of the truck to talk to me. There was this really strange vibe I got from him and Red, where he seemed to almost anxiously wait for Red to finish talking to me before he could hop in, as if he needed Red’s permission to ask me something. He was really excited to talk to me and really curious about me, I think. They were both really curious about me, actually, but in very different ways—Mark seemed really sincere about it, almost in a childlike-curious sort of way, and was incredibly friendly and nice to me. Red, though, ever since a few minutes into the conversation, was a little more morbid and probing about it—he’d gently but sternly stare at me as I talked to Mark, as if judging me or just sizing me up. I was trying to act like I knew what I was talking about when it came to drugs and pretended to be enjoying the porno he showed me, but he seemed to see right through me and probably caught that my unshaven face was more of a college kid thing than a fellow wanderer/guy living in a truck sort of deal, even though he never mentioned it otherwise. It was a strange feeling, going back and forth between conversations and being watched in two very different ways. Granted, Red was probably fair in doing it—after all, here I am analyzing both of ‘em, and even posting it on the internet, eheh. Plus, I don’t really think he was being malicious about it—people have different means of curiosity all around, really. I just happen to get it out by wandering around places and talking to strangers, I guess.

Mark and I had some pretty great discussions. I remember talking about tons of stuff with him, like talismans (He liked my necklace, said it was made out of a nut [actually, I don’t know whether he’s right or not. Could be.], and told me I should imbue it with power by leaving it outside in the light of the full moon like his friend did), “Joose” (which I thought was some kind of new drug slang I didn’t know about, though it’s apparently just a fruity alcoholic drink that they all really dig), being gay in New Mexico, how much he liked Santa Fe and how long he had lived there (Says he: “Ten years and you’re a native, man…”), how he used to have a southern twang (but it still comes out again when he’s angry), and some things about his life, like how his parents are rich even though he’s in Santa Fe living in a truck. The best part, though, was when he talked to me about how well he could roll joints and friendship bracelets—he’d excitedly make motions with one of his hands to show how big of a joint he could roll, how thick his friendship bracelets were, how he used colored twine and wouldn’t settle for anything less. He used the same gesture when talking about both—his pointer finger rolled together with his thumb to make a circle, with his other three fingers pointing to the side. As if the guy couldn’t be cooler, when I happened to see him again later in the week, he quoted Tolkien at me. I remember the last thing we said to each other pretty vividly as he haphazardly jogged out of view on the Santa Fe plaza—“Don’t do anything I would do!” “Alright!!” “No, seriously! Don’t!”

Red and I talked a little bit, too, besides about the porno and drug offers—some about his wife, some stuff about Santa Fe. He spoke in Spanish a good bit and called me “Guillermo” (“Will” in Spanish, more or less), too. Although, he was less talkative the more into the conversation I got. He didn’t really ever smile fully at me, either—more of a smirk, as if he was making sure his joint didn’t fall out from his lips. Still, I could tell he was a pretty decent guy, even so. Maybe he was just a little suspicious or wary.

You’re probably wondering about the third guy at this point. Actually, I almost never interacted with him, nor did I get his name—he was on the other side of the truck from me, in the passenger’s seat, and mostly kept to himself, with a couple random interjections here and there. The only memory that really sticks out with him is when he without warning started pumping out “Intergalactic” at full volume and with some oddly nice bass. (Red: “Pretty good for an old truck, yeah?”) This pretty much cements him in my head as an awesome guy. Plus, he kept playing Mario 2 on their Game Boy Advance, which prompted a pretty nice video game discussion for me and the other two guys. (Red: “Man, Metroid was the shit. You beat the whole game and get to the credits, and Samus takes off her suit and, what the fuck, it’s a chick in a bikini! What the fuck!”)

After about thirty or forty minutes talking with them, Red said that they had to head out. I asked if they’d be around, and they said they’re always in that parking lot, unless they’re at a Burger King downtown. I told them I’d try to pop back by sometime and thanked them for the talkin’, and they drove off, with Mark in the back bouncing up and down on the tire, waving at me.

I can’t remember when, exactly, but they told me the same thing I’ve heard from guys I’ve met like them in other cities—that they’re smart, real smart, but that they made the wrong decisions up until now, and that’s how things turned out the way they did. It’s a fair point, I think, and it’s not like I can say I’ve made every major right decision I could, despite the fact that I’m a pretty big goody-two-shoes. I took it into mind, especially after Mark’s last comments on the plaza. It’s a little bit cheesy to tack this on at the end, here, but this is really what I think guerrilla philosophy is—accepting all the new wisdom you find, no matter where you find it. Wonder if they’ll still be there when I go back someday…?

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One Response to “”

  1. Nik said

    I really enjoyed this one, Will. You’re getting some crazy stories out of Santa Fe. I’m jealous–Pam and I want to stay there for a Summer–it seems like such a ridiculous place.

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