1998 WAS ALL RIGHT
AWAKENING ON THE ROADRUNNER SHUTTLE as we chugged up the steep grade highway, the red skin of Taos peeled back the imposing medieval Gorge crack. The cavity unzipped and five thousand feet below was the Rio Grande. I felt the altitude filling my lungs, and my eyes twitching from one scenic masterpiece to another. Everyone in the shuttle was giving me a history lesson about Taos. Before I knew it, the shuttle door opened, and the driver yelled, ‘Smiley.”
At the end of a two-mile dirt road the shuttle dropped me off and I was shouldered on either side by melting banks of snow. It was April. Unexpected snow storms arrived the same week.
The FBI boxes I’d shipped were in front of my casita. Darting from room to room, thoroughly satisfied with a two-story loft, floor to ceiling windows, and sunlight in all the right spots. I unpacked in the seductive silence. Was I all alone out here? A few other casitas were on the property but they looked vacant. A pang of anxiety seized and then I realized, I had a cell phone, a credit card, and cash. I could always call a cab right. It was winter in April; the first time I’d lived in falling
snow. In the dining room, I unpacked the boxes and arranged them in a circle around the circumference of the table. It was a heavy southwestern oak table, twelve feet along, and to the right was sliding glass doors allowing the light to stream across the black and white print. I was left to unravel two thousand more pages on Dad’s criminal life.
The trip was extended to two months. I read all the files and left Taos a different woman.