"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Friday, July 18, 2008

7/18-7/27/08: Another Santa Fe Interlude

The bus to Santa Fe left at 10:50 and after being up most of the night, getting up and repacked was no small feat! I felt like I was running a bit late, since I had to hike to 17th and Arapahoe from Capital Hill, when I finally heard from Eric for the first time since I had been back. I had called him from Ken's truck hoping to get together with him, but that's how it goes sometimes.
The conversation was brief, but productive. He told me he had just canned his helper and if I decided to come back to Denver before I set off again to let him know and I could work to stash some trip money. I was geeked, but wished I had known before I had arranged to leave; I could have just stayed.

The trip was typical Greyhound. Nothing exciting. The bus now takes the route through Taos exclusively, because of the price of gas they eliminated the express route through Raton, so I completed the full circle when the bus passed my old road on 285 in Pojoaque.
The first thing I noticed about being back in Santa Fe was the same disconnect as Denver, but now mixed with pure disdain for the city. I do not like much about Santa Fe anymore. I get the same feeling I got with Hippy McDouche, except this is worse. McDouche probably does not know any better. Santa Fe cleverly and insidiously markets its bullshit under the brand name Liberalism. The City Different? HA! The only thing different is its method of exploitation: Stealth Predatory Capitalism thinly veiled beneath a cleverly schemed and marketed "progressive" image. My friend was right a year ago: Santa Fe's dead and has been for years. There is a rant coming on. One that is sure to enrage the Chamber of Commerce! (See the 'San Luis Obispo' post for more Chamber Fun!) I also have begun another radio rant that I cut out of the La Grande post…mostly…and may publish all three eventually. All of these are related, and have a common theme. 25-points if you can guess what it is!

Leaving the bus station, I was in for one of the strangest moments I have ever experienced. Laina moved into Santa Fe from Pojoaque a few days after I left. I had only seen our new place twice: empty.
Walking in was bizarre! Yeah, that was my stuff, but it felt like I was Couchsurfing again. I never got over that, and began to develop a sense that I was indeed homeless! I was not comfortable there at all, and would not be for a few days.

Friday night was spent downloading my pictures and trying to figure out why my computer refused to start. We tried to get reacquainted ourselves while at the same time attempting
 to figure out why, again, I felt so disconnected and uncomfortable in what was supposedly my own home. I was not successful.

The rest of the weekend was the same. I left the house Saturday to replace the computer's power supply and had an intensely bitter taste in my mouth at sight and even smell of Santa Fe. There is nothing left in Santa Fe for me that's outside of my four walls and I began to think about how that changed.

It seems pointless to spend more time on the weekend because that is pretty much it. Laina asked if I wanted to do something, anything, but I essentially refused to leave the house not wanting to expose myself to that toxic dump of pretentiousness.
It got to the point Saturday night where I began packing the backpack again pissed off that I'd PAID to return HERE, when I could be in Denver working! Laina tried to help me through that, but there was nothing she could do. I then figured I could begin consolidating the written journal for the online version to occupy my mind, but did not even start that until Monday.

The positive aspect of the first part of the trip home was the continued theme: calm combined with rare but intense moments of irritation. Plus, Laina and I were getting along better than we had in a long time simply because I was less generally irritated. My irritation had always tended to be all-encompassing. Now it seems to have a target. That made life at home much more tranquil.

It appears, also, that the time we have spent apart doing our own things has helped her too. She seems a lot more sure of herself and a bit more comfortable in her own skin. I do not think that the calmness trait changes were all one sided!

I finally began slowly updating the journal on Monday, although I still refused to exit the house! That came Tuesday when I went to the library to upload some stuff, and to get some cigs.

Tuesday, Laina also let me know that one of her co-workers, Cynthia, wanted someone to install a gravel yard at her house and that I could make some money while I was there. I had spoken to Eric over the weekend, and judging by my allergic reaction to all things Santa Fe, I decided that I should get the hell out of there the next weekend, choosing Sunday. I could go to work with him the following Monday, staying once again at The Friary. That fit nicely with Cynthia’s schedule, so I went to work for her Thursday and Friday. We intended to go over there on Saturday, but were interrupted by the remnants of Hurricane Dolly. Yeah, a hurricane dumping rain on New Mexico. Great timing Dolly.

Overall, the second half of this Santa Fe Interlude was much better than the first. Laina and I had some nice conversations. She said something very important: that she sees what I'm getting out of this, sees some effects, and now knows this isn't about her. I had been saying that all along, but now she finally gets that. She also had noticed that sense of calm; less restlessness.

I believe that it is borne of a now practical belief in the volumes of ideas I developed over the years of writing, thinking, and stewing. It has all moved beyond theory now. These ideas have also been reinforced by the experiences in Santa Fe over the last year+; seeing the charlatan behind the Progressive Curtain and the reality that there is no substantial change coming ‘within the system’. Those that tell you otherwise are merely tools of the system itself. Chomsky uses the media as a beautiful example of this defense mechanism in Manufacturing Consent: the system rewards those who act in its interest, even if they do so under the guise of "change". 

Right Scott? Right Bob? There’s a special place in Hell for the likes of you and I’d rather, and will, live under a bridge with honorable, urine-soaked castaways than breathe the sweet smelling cyanide of your deceit, ideological and ecological for-profit exploitation, and selling of the cultural fraud branded as “The American Dream”. Does that come with a side order of Freedom Fries?

That disgust and conviction would be driven home with unimaginable force after my return to Denver on Sunday. I would also put a definition to this seemingly inexplicable intolerance, and perhaps ultimately set up the framework for the next phase of this...whatever it is. It seems a bit odd and disingenuous to just call it a "trip" now.