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3. Let's Take a Trip to New Mexico!

We have been working very hard sorting out all this societal stuff and I'm starting to get a little tired. My guess is that you could use a short vacation as well. Let's take a trip to New Mexico! We will be taking a few glances back to chapters 1 and 2 though because New Mexico has a way of putting almost everything into its proper perspective.

We will be flying into Albuquerque. I'll take United from Chicago. No, I won't consider Northworst. I'm working on getting a life and flying Northworst would be a giant step backward. Once we get there, I would really like to explore Chaco Canyon but I'm open to other suggestions. There is one thing that is nonnegotiable and that is a trip to the Santuario de Chimayo as that is where I first became aware of the "meaningful coincidences" in my life. This occurred in January 1993. Can we talk about this? Okay, thanks for the patience you have shown me. I met a man from Albuquerque, New Mexico in Nashville in April 1992 at a worker's compensation "college." This bullshit college was actually a one-week seminar laced with "healthy" doses of alcohol. This man invited me to New Mexico and we made plans for January 1993. However on November 8, 1992, I bought the Sunday edition of The New York Times for the first time in several years. The travel section featured New Mexico and Arizona on the front page and throughout the section. I put this travel section in my growing pile of Southwest materials. When I was younger I did no travel planning because I would go 20 hours straight and simply attempt to see it all. Those days are gone, I can assure you.

The day arrived for the flight to New Mexico and I boarded Northworst. As I recall, the planes actually functioned that day. I arrived in Albuquerque and the next day we left for Santa Fe. Mr. New Mexico said he wanted to show me his favorite earthly place and I of course was interested in viewing this location. He ultimately pulled into the parking lot of a church and pointed to the Santuario de Chimayo.

I was shocked at the sight as a large photograph of this church was coincidentally on my lap as it appeared on the front page of the travel section of The New York Times published on November 8, 1992. This was just the beginning. I have traveled to New Mexico on a regular basis during the last five years and the "meaningful coincidences" just flow like water in this land of enchantment. In fact, these experiences are what motivated me in part to write this book. They convinced me that I have been having a meaningful life. A life transcending my alleged geekness. I unfortunately have needed this assurance in a world where the celebrity gods are thrust at us electronically at a pace and intensity that is beyond reason. We will be discussing this in greater detail in chapter 4. I will give you an example of the absolute nonsense to be described in the upcoming chapter. Henry Louise Gates, Jr., in the June 1, 1998 edition of The New Yorker actually stated on page 51 after listing various events in Michael Jordan's life: "These things have been inscribed on the national memory like the battles of the Revolutionary War." Please take a moment at this juncture to decide whether to laugh or cry. Perhaps you will want to do both.

We need to get back on the road. I'm now looking at the map. Let's take 1-40 over to Thoreau, New Mexico and then state highway 57 to Chaco Canyon. The ancient ones are waiting for us. These may be the folks who are orchestrating the "meaningful coincidences" from their offices in the parallel world. I feel sorry for people who dismiss this suggestion out of hand. These are some of the same people who believe that Reagan or Clinton are going to save us or that science will intervene to set things straight. These people need to be reminded that many of the antibiotics that we have used, misused and abused over the years now don't work that well at this point in history. I could tell you some personal infection stories but this might bore or offend the readership.

This is not my first attempt to drive to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico U.S.A. I rented a SUV in December 1997 to drive to Chaco. Mr. New Mexico pointed out that we might die on a dirt road in a winter storm if we did this. We decided not to go. This was a good decision because a winter storm in fact hit when we would have been there by ourselves because no one else would have been dumb enough to go there at that time of year. It is now October so everything should be just fine. You can trust me. I'm not running for any office and I have never endorsed anything for money. In fact, I've never endorsed anything for free. Perhaps if people buy this book I will be able to endorse Wisconsin watermelons and other such products. Wisconsin cranberries are something worth believing in. They probably started raising them during the Revolutionary War and perhaps even before the most recent round of the N.B.A. playoffs started.

What do you think of the Chaco ruins? You say that you are starting to believe in a parallel world simply from staring at them for several minutes. I'm having the same feeling. I'm calling it a feeling rather than a thought so that the professors don't have a series of coronaries. Heart disease is already a major problem here in America. Besides, we need a few more studies before all the professors leave us. The local university is studying compulsive nose picking. Seriously. This may cause some of you to request a transfer to the parallel world where this sort of behavior is less common, given the probable absence of facial parts.

Some of you have expressed an interest in stopping at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert near Abiquiu, New Mexico even though a majority of this group has not been to church in years. This isn't a total surprise of course. The worst bigots I know warm church pews when they aren't trying to run other people's lives. Very few of these pew people seem spiritual to me. We will look into this complex situation in chapter 6.

I'm please to see that most of you are enjoying the Monastery. They apply the Rule of Saint Benedict here which means you should lower your voices. Specifically, the brochure reads: "Sound carries far in the canyon, and all conversation should be quiet." Perhaps it would be best to simply move on to chapter 4. I think that would be best. We'll be determining whether heroes are okay in chapter 4. This should be a very loud venture given the fact that extroverts in Amerika are viewed as being on very solid psychological ground. Us introverts with our self-focus habits are the ones people worry about.

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Are you a Geek?       Are Heroes Okay?