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Posts Tagged ‘Barfoed Does America’

BDA: Santa Fe and the Southwest (10/11-13/10)

April 18, 2012

This and the Grand Canyon. We’re so effing close.

You may have heard that vicious drug cartels roam the wilds of New Mexico and that immigration unrest is tearing the south of Arizona apart. While I don’t have the stories to confirm either of those things, I can tell you that the American Southwest has some of the most expansive views in the country. It’s not like wide-open spaces don’t exist in other parts of the country. They just somehow feel more epic out west, like the world has expanded tenfold at the same time the distance between you and your Maker has been drastically condensed. You could reach out and touch Him, which is a very real possibility if you don’t keep your eyes on the road!

Although by this point in the trip I’d more than worn out my Boss-heavy “Americana” playlist, it took on new relevance as I drove through New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. Ghost towns? Endless highways?That moment when the dark creeps in and you’re driving down some weirdo side road for 50 miles with depleted gas reserves and the possibility that you might not make it and those lights trailing you suddenly go out? That last part isn’t so much Bruce, but still — America, man. It’s out there!

You’re reminded, too, just how isolated many of the region’s cities and communities are. We complain in Los Angeles about the time it takes to get from Santa Monica to Downtown. SMALL POTATOES when about 100 miles separate one Southwestern pit stop from the next. They’re practically frontier outposts — places to hitch your stallion for the night and trade whatever animals you managed to trap/kill along the way. I’ll start apologizing for these cowboy references when I stop feeling them so deeply in my soul.

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BDA: Austin (10/4-11/10)

March 20, 2012

Lifting Fog is nearing retirement, but standing in the way of digital shuffleboard bliss are 9-10 stray posts I’ve been sitting on for at least a year (if not years plural), including the last batch of “Barfoed Does America” entries. Just HUMOR ME WHYDONTCHA.

I. Prologue

I was maybe 30 miles into Texas, just pass Beaumont, when a cop pulled me over for speeding. “Where you headed so fast?” Officer Packer asked. “California,” I replied, trying my hardest to sound like a Steinbeck character. He looked me over. Peered through the windows of my car. “You off to school?” “School?” “Yeah, school — all your stuff there packed up, dorm room stuff.”

He was right — I DID own a lot of things more appropriate for a college freshman than an adult! And in that moment, halfway across the country with nothing but my license plate tying me to my previous identity (except all the French New Wave DVDs in my car, shirts that said “Haddonfield Swimming & Diving,” and the fact that I was still terribly, terribly me), I thought what the hell — let’s have some fun with this.

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BDA: Limbo, Limbo, Limbo

November 22, 2011

If we accept the fact that personal blogs are, at their core, self-serving beacons of ridiculous narcissism untethered to anything resembling reality, then this return to the Barfoed Does America well needs no apology or explanation. We’re good!

“Beards,” “Sunsets,” and “Chicago” are all nouns around which previous entries in the Barfoed Does America series have revolved. Today we add one more: “Limbo.” Not the party game, fascinating a 500-word exploration that might be, but the state of being. Limbo isn’t uncomfortable; it’s not anything, really, except maybe the absence of defining edges. It’s the middle, Purgatory, that sensation you get when you’ve been living out of your car for two weeks and feel more at home driving a stretch of unfamiliar highway than you do at any of the places you’ll sleep, including the room you left way back when (…two weeks ago). Limbo is perfect room temperature and feels like it has been and will continue to be this way forever.

(From there I suppose you could say Limbo is like a “goldfish’s memory,” but that level of metaphorical inception is practically unconscionable. Let’s not say EVERYTHING we’re thinking.)

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