Adjusting to this life living in a hotel anywhere, it's so much more like I'm on a space station now than it was doing City of Angels Blog from L.A., because there, even though I was cut off from the world in the back of an apartment building, in the courtyard every day were these Armenian women drinking coffee, and gossiping. Their warbling soprano voices often would drown out the audio on the reality TV show videos I work on. Today I'm in a hotel room in any city anywhere, this month it's Albuquerque, working on the same reality TV show videos, just putting on a jacket when I go out to walk later in the day.
Just south of here is Roswell, New Mexico, known for its residents who communicate with space aliens, and when you look at the topography of this area on a Google map, you can see why spacecraft would choose this site for landing. The private sector Go into Orbit for Vacation project is also nearby, the entrepreneur founder of Virgin finished building a landing strip for the venture just last month. Maybe in a few decades they'll actually launch.
Point is I feel like I'm so much of a space alien myself, I fit right in here. As I ride around town staring at things I've never seen before, my little brain that never stops starts analyzing everything. You can see the Navajo influence, the Pueblo influence, feel its continued presence.
Story continues after this picture of a downtown Albuquerque bail bonds shop a block from the courthouses.
Then as you ride around town, on the landscape is the aberration, the slick, clean, more wealthy than the entire rest of the neighborhood, Catholic Church. I rode by one where I know James Porter of Massachusetts fame was allowed to perpetrate freely while he was an out-patient with the Paracletes just yesterday while out riding the Number 10 bus, just to see where it goes. Need to go back there and take a picture soon…
I went downtown to see the courthouses, one of which holds an archive of documents that I will dive into later on this trip. The real reason I went downtown yesterday was to see how people dress here as that's the kind of person I am, I don't want to show up looking all L.A. So I stood outside the courthouse yesterday to see what other women wear here, so I’ll know what to wear next time I come, as that's how space aliens blend in. I need boots and long skirts.
URBANE LADY on an outpost in space
I'm not really here, I'm just in a hotel, here to do my work, but still absorbing this geography at the same time I'm absorbing the horrible facts about what priests did to kids in this region, twelve-fold number of perpetrators per person compared to the rest of the country, at least it seems that way. More I learn about what really happened here in New Mexico, I can’t ignore the addition of a racist, who gives a damn about all these brown people, attitude that seemed to go with the turning loose of Servants of the Paraclete priests on these parishes.
In my hotel I'm isolated, cut off more than ever, but it feels right. From here I talk by phone and email with the world, I'm even geographically closer to the center of the country. I need to get even closer to the center. Maybe next year I’ll make it to Illinois.
Two or three times a week I file my report from the space station in the form of posts at City of Angels Blog.
I noticed it when I looked in the mirror the other day, I even look more and more like a space alien. My eyebrows have disappeared as my hair has gotten white. The white hairs are of a nature that will not absorb color from dye or even darkening with eye brow pencil, the eyebrows just aren't there, making me bear a strong resemblance to ET, the character in the Steven Spielberg movie.
My eyes now have this staring, penetrating, probing look to them that they never had before.
I can make this whole experience even more fun by pretending to be a mystery woman, hiding out, “I ‘vant to be alone’ acting as I venture outside my hotel room like there’s someone I'm hiding from, someone looking for me. So have to keep my identity secret, keep my location secret, and when I go out, interact with hardly anyone, just walk to the bus stop listening to Randi Rhodes on my radio, ride the bus around town as Progressive Talk Radio KABQ 1350 that sounds eerily like KTALK Los Angeles goes on to Ed Schultz. I have this ongoing relationship with the world that goes on only internally. Back to my hotel room, I'm hooked up to the world by internet connection, but never feel the human sensation of touch.
I'm that mysterious gray haired woman who around four AM you can see a glow of computer screen through her curtains. She has a job she does online, something to do with TV shows, working on videos that stream into her computer from Los Angeles. She’s done with her job around 10 in the morning, then spends a lot of time on the phone and riding around town taking pictures. That's her, walking with the hood from her jacket pulled over her face, always has earphones on which is another way to keep from making contact with anyone she passes.
That's me right now, the mystery woman in Room ___ at Hotel _______ who spends long hours behind a closed door, her head in her laptop. Sometimes from outside the room you can hear her breaking into uproarious laugher, sometimes she throws herself on the bed spasming in tears.
That's me right now, with this story to write.
Meanwhile I'm scared to get into cars even of people who are my friends. Hey, no one said I was sane.