Thursday, June 11, 2015

Getting Your Money's Worth

Maybe I was wrong-headed to have booked a new flight last night, but it is done and now I have come to the end of the road.  All that is left is the journey home.  Last night I was sour, mostly toward myself for being so incompetent.  I am not sure how I made the mistake about when I was flying home, but I did it, did it myself and not for the first time.  I would be worried about my mental capacity if this weren't the sort of mistake I've made all my life.  I cannot plan, cannot organize.  I am a last minute, fly by the seat of my pants sort of fellow.  None of this is new.  It is a lifetime's achievement. 

Now I prepared to leave this cheap motel that I have called home for the past nine days, sitting at the cheap desk with a cup of Starbucks coffee and a chocolate croissant making this last trip entry.  All in all, the motel is a great deal, and I found it listed on Orbitz for $44/night.  If you are coming to Santa Fe, look for anything twice that price.  I doubt you will find it.  Even at that, though, when I thought about the cost of booking another night in the room and another day's car rental and another full day of eating out, the cost of booking a new flight was very much mitigated. I arrive home earlier, too, and will have someone pick me up at the airport saving me another $50 on a cab ride.  Life is expensive any way you look at it, so justifications are easy to make.  But last night, I did not sleep well.  Maybe it was the cheap vodka (a brand called "Six"), but I know it was not that.  I thought about all the things I had to take care of when I get home, all the work that faces me, all the obligations that must be met, all the voices that must be heard.  And, after all this lovely, dry air (both hot and cold), I return to the land of heat and humidity, the worst of weather to come for the next five months.  "Why do you live there?" one of the women at Tent Rocks asked me.  "Is it because of a job?"  I've thought about that since she asked.  How did my family come to end up there.  But I know it was because we lived in Ohio and this looked like paradise by comparison.  And of course, there was the whole job thing.  Both my mother and my father were able to get work with big companies.  Yes, people go where there is work.  Most of the people I have met in New Mexico have to work more than one job to make ends meet.  My own job. . . well, I was in for the long haul.  Now, after thirty-some years at the factory, there is no option to leave unless I want to give up the decent retirement that I have worked toward.  There is only that, really, and my mother or I would pack up and move in a heartbeat.  But really, it is always about the money. 

When I get home, there are rolls and rolls of film to develop, and then I will see if I still love the Leica.  There is much that is tenuous with film, but if the images are there and what I hope, it will be my constant companion.  If not--maybe I'll go for the digital version, for the camera is just sweet to hold in your hands. 

I will pack now and get some breakfast and walk around the town square one more time, then I will head for Albuquerque to turn in the car and check my bags and sit around waiting to see if my flight will leave on time.  I have Sally Mann's "Hold Still" on my iPad, and I will try to finish reading that.  I have been unable to quit writing my life, and doing so without publishing it has been liberating in a way, much like writing in my journal was so many years ago.  But I will let go of these now and publish the first of the trip entries when I close this up.  It will be nice to have a bankroll of things, though I know they will be depleted soon, much like my bank account.  Oh, well. . . .