Somewhere in the flat oil fields of Texas, at a Denny’s, the day was half gone, smothered up by heat vapors dancin’ on the broken tar.
We were on our journey, headed to El Paso, for the first Signature Member Exhibit of the International Equine Artists. My son and I, sat, waiting for the meal that will sustain us for another six hours of driving.
The waitress, looking likes something that walked right out of a 1970’s sitcom, I’m thinking her name must be Flo, took our order.
Oil rigs outside our windows bobbed up and down, casting hard lined shadows on the dry cracked ground below them. To me, they reminded me of those plastic dipping birds, which bob up and down in a glass of water. The rust created interesting textures and colors, as the mid-day sun worked its magic on that metal.
The skies stretched for as far as the eye could see. I’m quite sure I saw the horizon bend as more heat vapors danced and blurred my vision.
Once our bellies were full, and the car sped off in a cloud of hot dust, we sat, riding mile after mile, eating them up like a kid sucks up a plate of spaghetti. The distance between small towns became greater, and the emptiness was replaced by more rusting oil rigs. Some had the company of a lone cow standing in the lower shadows of the big rusty dipping bird. Any sign of green had been left behind, in what was now a distant memory.
Full of weary from the long journey, we were still full of hope and excitement for reaching our destination and friends we had met in the past. Somehow, beauty was shown to me, in the hills of red and yellow rock that lined the horizon, and slowly rose in front of us. As those mounds of rock grew closer, we knew we were finally headed into the mountains of South Western Texas…headed closer to El Paso.
My son and I had made this trip one year before, though we had taken a different route through New Mexico. This part of Texas was all new to us, as we sped past oil plants and a rusty oil rig graveyard. They lay there in a heap of metal, used, spent, with no more dipping left in them. Waiting, hopefully, to be recycled, they were nothing more than occupants of a scrap metal yard.
At times we grabbed a glance of horses. Huddled together, searching for each other’s shade to shield them from the blaze of sun that baked upon their backs. I felt sad and sorry, or maybe empathy, towards them. For having to endure that mid-day heat, though I knew, that surely they were used to this dusty climate, day after day, with no water or rain in sight. Despite their entrapment of the environment, they looked well, and healthy, as if whoever was their care taker, took wonderful care of them. This eased my mind.
It was one more overnight stop, before cruising into El Paso. We checked into a place that was run down, could use a lot of maintenance, and the other dwellers seemed a bit iffy to us. But when you are hot, dusty, and travel weary, you take what you can get in an open land of nothing more than dust, heat and space.
As I expected, people hung out around the room doors that were exposed to the ground floor of icky, for most of the night, and returned in the wee hours of morning. A one inch space under the door was an open invitation for whatever wanted to crawl under there, into the room. My shoes were placed up in a chair, and a few checks under the blankets, before sliding into that bed. Yes, I tucked my pajama pant legs into my socks, despite any heat that tried to suffocate me in my sleep. In the morning, before that unrelenting sun rose, we listened to the nasty mouths of young people, flirting and talking loudly outside our window. Saying things that would make a Crow blush.
I changed into my day clothes, and as I was slipping into those running shoes, I saw a tick crawling across my sneaker. With a loud scream, and a yell to my son, we were out of there! I bet you have never seen a woman pack a car so fast, and check out of a place, in a matter of minutes, and was off in a cloud of dust!
I left my Pajamas in Texas!
By Deborah Flood 8
To be continued……
This writing is Copyrighted 2015. Do Not Copy or use in any form without the written consent of the Author, Deborah Flood.