He drove his pickup across Arkansas in the middle of the night. Listening to radio the whole time. Picking up stations out of Little Rock, Hope, Texarkana. Country staions and Gospel. When he got bored he’d listen to talk radio. People from all over calling in. Talking about politics and homosexuality. The old man would grin and nod his head. Things ain’t like they used to be, he whispered. No, they are not.
By day break he’d made it across the state. He was in Texas with the sun coming up over small towns, farm lands. It was his goal to shoot it straight through big T and drive on into New Mexico where the red clay looks like a painting. For some reason he wanted to go to Taos. He’d never been there. Just liked the way it sounded. Thought he could get some real authentic Mexican food there. Sounded Mexican. And, if he was lucky, pick up an Indian woman. He liked their high cheek bones and dark skin.
The old man was once married to a white woman. That was years ago when he lived in Chicago. Had a home on the southside of town. Sold it after his wife died. Made a fortune. Well, a working man’s fortune.
That’s when he decided to take off. See America. See what it was like to be free. Like an antelope or a deer. Just running everywhere wild. Take his squaw with him. They could sleep under the stars, wrapped in blankets of different colors.
He got to New Mexico and looked at the red mountains of clay. Thought about how long he was going to stay in Taos. Maybe a week. A month. As long as it took to be at peace.
Peace is a hard thing to find.