Thursday, August 02, 2018
Ten miles west of Las Cruces on a stretch of desolate highway, Stephen Foster began to realize hitchhiking was not as alluring as portrayed in romantic anecdotes he had read in those beat novels from the 1950’s. An adventure, he supposed, yet a negligible one at best. Definitely in no way an inspirational form of art. He came to the dire conclusion hitchhiking was more an act of reckless freeloading. Borderline parasitic. Even so, it was a decision he purposefully opted into and as Charles Bukowski once wrote, If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.
The sky radiated a brilliant cloudless blue of a late September common to the Great American Southwest. Whispers like the sound of long dead Indians and the forgotten frontiersmen who exterminated them, the ever present wind hissed across a seemingly endless prairie of yellowed and desiccated scrub. A monotonous and otherwise flat landscape was broken with an occasional tilted power pole or rusted billboard splashed with faded advertisements of by-gone products. The glaring sun beat down on the two-lane black strip of lonely highway stretching both east and west. A stunningly panoramic horizon of low-slung biscuit colored buttes to shimmered in the rising heat.