Nighttime in Coldwater

A couple from Germany checked in just as Joey and I were finishing up dinner this evening. They hadn’t eaten yet, so I fixed them each a plate of capellini with olive oil, garlic, and grated Parmesan and a bowl of spinach salad with mushrooms, olives, and blue cheese, which they liked a lot. People keep telling me I ought to open a restaurant, but I don’t know how I’d pull that off. Maybe I’ll look into it after I finish backfilling Joey’s high-school education.

My only other traveler tonight was a woman from Pensacola who is on her way to see her daughter in Las Vegas. She checked in just after 9:30 and went straight to her room. Joey is playing Atari in the lobby, and Grant is in Santa Fe for some big-deal meeting until tomorrow afternoon, so Harvey (who is sleeping on the ground, with his nose on my foot) and I have had the evening all to ourselves.

Sitting in the quiet darkness of a Coldwater evening, you notice the soft sounds of the night: the electric hum of the pole light over at Freed’s Garage, the songs of crickets, the squeaking of the ornamental windmill over behind Unit Four, and the steady eek-eek of a metal speed-limit sign shivering in the ever-present New Mexico wind.

Nights like these make me wonder how I survived the chaos of St. Louis with my sanity intact. How did I manage without the whispers of the land to ground me?

— Sierra


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