1/20/03 Day 30 of the

1/20/03

Day 30 of the Rape and Violation of My Sacred Belongings Road Trip of Now I Fucking Well Know Better

Santa Fe, NM to Taos, NM

We got a rude awakening from my Uncle Chuck this morning, who banged on our door and alerted us that our cars had all been ransacked during the night. I dashed out into the blindingly red Santa Fe sunrise to find all our car doors open, and stuff strewn about. At first, I didn’t think anything was missing, a delusion we held onto until about an hour into our morning procedures, when Tessa came back inside and told me that my guitar had been stolen.

It slowly dawned on me what else was missing: my canvas backpack, which not only contained my sinus medication, but also three pairs of my favorite shoes: some leather Campers, some trs expensive Gel Kayano running shoes, and most heartbreakingly, MY NIKE VINCE CARTER SHOX BASKETBALL SHOES IN CAROLINA BLUE. This last of these was a hard blow because I looked for these shoes for about six months before I found them.

Also in the backpack was a sweater my Dad had just given me, and a fabulous North Carolina sweatshirt with the old fashion interlocking “NC.” Combine that with my NC basketball shorts, and you’ve got a burglar that is now outfitted with some of the best Tar Heel stuff you can get. I can only hope he roots for us on Wednesday, the fucking bastard.

The guitar was a real pity, because it was blue, gorgeous and I found it with Sean in midtown Manhattan. It had an aural brilliance, a way of singing the upper register, that was unlike the 150 other guitars I tried over the months. I can only hope the burglar plays some Joni Mitchell songs for his friends, the fucking bastard.

After talking to the cops, filing a report, and calling our insurance company, we said goodbye to my Aunt Lee (whose car was pillaged too) and drove down the hill to the main street by the river. But a few subconscious seconds later, I was having the feeling that I’d seen some of the trash on the side of the road before. I screeched the car to a halt, and found a pair of my boxers, two T-shirts, and four socks. Down further, I saw one lone Gel Kayano running shoe very out of place in these parts. The hunt was on: Tessa and I scoured the town all the way to the Santa Fe river and found two more pairs of boxers, another shirt, my orange bandana, and most unbelievably, the full pair of Campers and the running shoes!

We were lucky, relatively last night on a whim, I had taken the scanner and the printer inside to archive Uncle Chuck’s pictures (see entry below) and also a bunch of electronic stuff I didn’t need: the Palm, the XM Satellite Radio, and my cell phone. Still, it is a total violation.

And it would seem worse, except that I’ve been trying to let go of how much “stuff” means to me. I’ve noticed so many crosses on the side of the road on this trip, places where people have died in highway accidents. They’re all over Interstate 5, Interstate 40, even in downtown areas. I imagine the street cleaners and Adopt-a-Highway folks leave the memorials alone, these crossed iron bars or PVC pipes festooned with plastic flowers and a single name. It’s a sort of tacit respect, and a belief that seeing these things make drivers slow down. One sticks with me: on a hillside in Death Valley, I came upon a turn where a big cross was stuck in the ground; beside it, the tiny cross of a small child.

Where the Santa Fe river flows past St. Francis Avenue, no doubt right where a stolen pair of my boxers floated by early this morning, there is another cross, and it served to remind me that although my Carolina basketball shoes are a sentimental attachment, it hardly matters in the scheme of things.

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