New Mexico is a night in a pop-up trailer in a windstorm when I'm 12 years old near a town called Tucumcari.
New Mexico is white sand dunes, writing out our last name with our feet: BLAKE, before sliding down the hills, totally alone in the universe together.
New Mexico is the first taste of something unknown, petrified rocks and gypsum hills and otherworldly places.
New Mexico is planning a trip across the southwest with my little family, thinking about those gypsum hills, thinking about the wind and the sand and the stone.
New Mexico is also a bus trip across from Dallas all the way to Flagstaff, stopping at a truck stop in Gallup, sitting in its diner with Ruben and that girl on crutches and her, well, the boy who wanted so desperately to date her. Laughing and talking, waiting for the bus to fuel up, the waitress so damned tired, I remember looking up at her face, her hair tied up in a bandana, wondering what her story is here in Gallup.
Playing truth or dare on the bus all the way home. What would you be if you could be anything, but you can't? The girl with the crutches, a dancer. Ruben, a singer. Me?
I would be an assassin, I told them.
New Mexico is about surprising truths waiting to be discovered. A land of enchantment after all.
Have I been to New Mexico? Yes.