Saturday, May 14, 2011

without being asked

I have a brilliant idea for a book.
In what could potentially be a tome surpassing the Golden Bough in size, insight, and perpetual relevance, I am proposing to start composing a comprehensive compendium of causalities quantifying and then probably qualifying the myriad reasons the rest of the world should just leave Albuquerque the hell alone.

It could very well be the next big thing. Maybe it would (note the use of the conditional, folks) even eclipse Breaking Bad or In Plain Sight as our city’s du jour fanciful and fictive identity generators.

Of course I’d have to write most of it in an incredibly snarky and naughtily condescending tone, spending the weeks in advance of the text’s transcription translating the early work of
P.J. O’Rourke into colloquial Spanish for fun.

I’d probably also need a couple of weeks to diligently read through the work of other
area bloggers, just so I could familiarize myself with their "stylings", grammatical tendencies and so forth and so on. That way, if I decided to employ my old pal parody, she’d come along blithely.

When such training is complete and only after I have also mastered the inherent potency of short declarative sentences, I plan to lapse into a trance-like state. In that inscrutable reverie, while subconsciously but methodically exploring the acquisitive essences which may lead to an initial fascination with this town (inevitably followed by movement towards it, physically and philosophically) I’d most likely utter the following pronouncements, mournful as a starling whose head is about to be blown off for not sounding pretty.

What About the Rattlesnakes?

Snakes are ubiquitous in Albuquerque. Watch where you step. Especially in the mountains and on the mesa. That leaves the city proper, which is pretty safe, unless you live by the zoo (or invested in
certain unbelievably lucrative investment schemes). I hear tell there are a heap of wild animals hanging out in the buildings over at the Biopark. They even have a couple of crocodiles. Imagine if they escaped.

Black Widows Could Be Our Official Spider

We’re mere amateurs compared to what
la gente down under have to endure, but those crepuscular and crevice craving queens of August and September ought to be enough to keep even those with the rewarded and storied fortitude gained from exposure to the real world safely at bay. Or at least in Santa Fe and Taos.

Authorities Here are on Alert

That sounds pretty ominous, eh kids?
Automated red light and speeding violation detectors are scattered here and there. They are watching you. Cyclopean and foreboding as they may seem, the reasons they appeared are not mysterious or magical. Their presence, perhaps composed in a range of shades darker than imagined by the most idealistic and hearty of pioneer, and of a substance more densely woven than the cynical opinions expressed here, is simple to explain.

Plant yourself on the curb by one of the intersections in Burque that doesn’t have one of those sentinels; watch what happens when the light changes. Better yet, try driving down Lead or Lomas Boulevard at under forty miles per hour during rush hour. You’ll probably end up crushed, like aforementioned birdy.

What About the Water Problems?

Last week the water at UNM was
green and undrinkable. While driving around campus today, I saw an official university golfcart (incapable of speeding, thank Shiva) with a bumper sticker that read: “I Love Red and Green”. Under the word red, there was displayed the symbol of the grandiose and lofty institution. The word green was augmented with an image that alluded to the same institution’s dedication to the preservation of the environment. The driver of the cart nearly ran over some poor undergrad when he reached into the back of the cart for a bottle of water.

Elm Seeds: Imminent Danger or Cultural Metaphor?

Maybe if we all take a few moments to package the stuff up and mail it to potential transplants, it will make a difference. There’re thousands of them and their numbers seem to be directly proportional to the unemployment rates in surrounding states. Throw in some
mulberry pollen for extra effect.

I hope you see where I’m headed with this. The book could also feature pictures of stuff like
Don Schrader naked, a nuclear device (like the kind they store here) as well as vaguely inaccurate statistics about crime and poverty rates. Maybe I could get the publisher to spring for a cut-out sign in the back of book that says “No Trespassing”. Readers, er consumers, would probably crave that kinda multi-media thingy. Anything to discourage further colonization of my precious tierra, sabes?

The only problem is that I will never get around to writing that book. You’ll never hear about this particularly glorious literary idea again. My reasoning is simple; I’d rather spend the time counting apple blossoms and wasps. I’d rather wander through mi vecino; searching for poetry in looming thunderstorms, in the faces and stories of humans shopping at any number of local retail outlets, in the way that summer nights and birdsongs and
AM radio in these parts are dreamlike, on their own, without being asked.