I am back in New Mexico after 7 years away. Walking the streets of Santa Fe looking for work has been both a reconnection and a bit demoralizing.
This place is where I went to college. Where I 'grew up'.
Today I applied at the cafe I worked at in 2001 when I was awoken at 5am by a phone call telling me to be careful when I went out to my car that morning. That the person on the other end was 'watching' me. Was aware of the time I left my dorm room, alone, in the dark.
Obviously I called and told them I didn't feel safe. That I would come in after the sun was up.
When I got home the word 'faggot' had been written on my door in sharpie. I painted over it in a blue that was clearly lighter. I hung a dry erase board over the spot.
The College of Santa Fe has since gone out of business and been renamed the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
|Fogelson Library, College of Santa Fe|
This is the city where I got my only ticket. After watching the final Lord of the Rings movie at a midnight showing I was driving home at 3am. I was stopped at a light at Cerillos and St. Francis. The light would not change. It stared red at me for 10 minutes. I was making a left. I went when it was safe to. Immediately a cop showed up. He had been watching me from the vacant lot across the street.
He didn't ticket me for the turn. But for a burned out headlight that I didn't know about.
That vacant lot is now a Starbucks drive through. They don't have an inside seating area, just some chairs under an awning. There are heaters so people can sit and use their laptops. Outside. So far there have been people there every day.
These two anecdotes are not meant to moan the change. Nor is it a 'I'm getting old' pastiche. It is merely noting the change. The history.
In returning I am revisiting. I am redoing. I am also moving on. From the New York thing to whatever this will be.
And that is exciting. But it also has me worried. What will my writing be like now? Who am I here, in this place, now? I am in my 30s. What does that mean?
So far I've decided to rewrite the first third of the novel that was supposedly finished. The one agents are looking at. Or, were looking at. Since none have said more than 'thank you'. So I am rewriting. And that seems to make sense. The part of the novel that I've decided to do over is the part set in Santa Fe.
It is the beginning of the story.
And also the end.