One Week (into the red)

November 2007


I must stay pure of thought. Manipulated by guilt and contaminated with insignificant irritations.

I used to prepare days in advance for a simple trip like this, but now it seems like I’m just jumping into it and my excitement level is muted. It’s been so long, and I’m more pre-occupied now than I’ve ever been before. It takes a lot more to get me going than before. With age comes experience and wisdom, but we also have the tendency to become jaded and all too aware of consequence, insignificance, and time. Don’t get me wrong, my impending vacation is much needed – six years have passed since I’ve seen a mountain peak pierce the clouds – I just seem to have a reluctance to do anything these days.

Inspiration is on the way, just like back in the old day. The return of the red rock reminds me of how far I’ve come since my first visit here on these desolate roads. My ears clog and then pop as “operation: vacation” officially gets underway. Sagebrush and mesquite grass cover the landscape, and a lone mountain can be seen far off in the distance reminding travelers that there is life beyond this depressing stretch of nothingness. We’re barreling through the desert at 90 mph, fighting off Hunter’s bats and getting deeper into the bowels of New Mexico.

Foothills are coming into view like shadows of a promise well overdue. We are in remote territory where the locals seem a bit off and my big city characteristics seem a bit harsh for these simple folk, but we are just passing through, me and my travel companions, heading for bigger and better sights. Our altitude is rising and so are gas prices. The open road is much too expensive to sleep off and so we plunge ahead red-eyed and weary.

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist