Years ago, when Husband and I took the Amtrak from Chicago to Seattle, we were coming out of the Chicago Theatre after seeing Jersey Boys and a pair of TV reporters came up and asked what we thought about Paul Newman, who had just passed away. That night, we watched ourselves on the local news talking about our fondness for the iconic film star and his blue eyes and salad dressing.
The other night in Las Cruces, New Mexico the lights suddenly went out while we were binge-watching The West Wing on Netflix. It wasn’t storming out or even drizzling, and we were left in an unfamiliar house with only our iPhone screens to guide us. The next night the same thing happened, with electricity out for about two hours both times. The local news has been all about why this might be happening, and the power company is not helping with an explanation. Yesterday, as we walked out of the library, two reporters approached us for a comment about the situation, and last night we got to watch ourselves once again look and sound very Noo Yawk on yet another local news show.
“What were you doing when the lights went out?”
“Well, we were watching TV. And then we weren’t.”
“Can you tell us more about that?”
“Everything went dark.”
“We couldn’t see anything.”
It was a brilliant interview! There we were, in our Varilux Transition lenses, tweed vest and Donna Karan quilted jacket, looking about as alien in southern New Mexico as the specimens from Roswell. No matter what we try to do to blend in, it’s obvious we’re urban tourists. Last week in Gallup, two women in a local store commented that they loved my curly hair. They had that beautiful Native American long black straight hair and they giggled shyly talking to me, almost moving me to ask if they wanted to touch it. Gallup is home to the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni tribes, and no one in town has curls. The truth is mine aren’t even real. Bet if I told someone, we’d have been on the evening news.
We’re staying in a lovely Airbnb in Las Cruces because Husband hates winter in New York. I’m actually okay with east coast weather in any season, but that’s just me and marriage is all about both parties being happy. And warm. Beside which, there’s much to adore in the Southwest. Beautiful big sky filled with stars and clouds and sun. The moon looks so large out here. Friendly people, offbeat museums, Farmers Markets with live music, enough green chile to eradicate your taste buds, and plenty of parking everywhere. For New Yorkers, that right there is worth the JetBlue airfare.
Today’s Featured Fotos come to you from Silver City, New Mexico